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医生辅助自杀议案意义深远
A long road of rights to die with dignity

自由党政府上周四推出医生辅助自杀合法化议案。一旦该议案通过议会讨论并形成法规,即将离世的加国成年人士将可以选择以医疗辅助形式结束生命。

The Liberal government introduced a bill Thursday that would legalize medical assistance in dying. Once the bill passes the Parliament debate and becomes legislation, it will allow Canadian adults on a course toward the end of life to seek medical assistance in dying.  


按照议案条款,因罹患晚期绝症而遭受无法忍受之痛苦的加国人士通过两名证人签字的书面申请寻求医生辅助自杀。在其申请通过两名医生进行独立后,申请者还需经过15天的,随时可将申请撤回的强制等待期。

Under the provisions of the bill, seriously and incurably ill Canadians who are suffering unbearably would be allowed to seek a doctor’s assistance in dying through a written request signed by two witnesses. The patients’ requests would then be independently evaluated by two physicians, following which they would be subject to a 15-day mandatory waiting period, during which the patients can withdraw their request.


如果该议案得以通过,加拿大将会加入瑞士、德国和荷兰等少数国家之列,成为世界上为数不多的医生辅助自杀合法化的国家之一。

The bill, if it is approved, would add Canada to the list of a handful of nations, such as Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands, where assisted suicide is legal.


死亡是人生之旅不可避免之终结,而每个人都有权享受一种安详并具有尊严的死亡方式。但对于那些患有绝症遭受无法忍受之痛苦的加国人士来说,这种死亡权利可谓来之不易。有史以来,许多加国人士都曾为废除加国禁止医生辅助自杀的法规作出努力。

Death is part of life and everyone deserves to die in peace and dignity. But for those who suffer incurable illness causing unbearable pain, there has been a long road of rights to die with dignity in Canada.  Over the past, many Canadians fought to overturn the law banning doctor-assisted suicide in the country.

 
1991年,加拿大最高法院作出裁决维持刑法典中禁止医生辅助自杀的条款,但确诊罹患肌肉萎缩症的卑诗省居民Sue Rodriguez一年后仍在一名医生的帮助下结束了自己的生命。2013年,多伦多微生物学家Donald Low在死于脑癌之前录制视频,请求将医生辅助自杀合法化,在他去世后这段视频被公诸于众。

In 1992, Sue Rodriguez, a B.C. resident diagnosed with ALS took her own life with the help of a doctor a year after the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision upholding the criminal code ban on assisted death.  In 2013, Dr. Donald Low, a Toronto microbiologist, made a plea for assisted death in a video released after he died from brain cancer. 


华裔社区成员,多伦多律师洪秉正也留下感人遗言,请求将医生辅助自杀合法化。洪律师在2014年赴瑞士寻求医生辅助自杀之前留下一封遗书,详细描述了他决心追求尊严死亡的心路历程。他在这封长达三页的遗书中向人们展现了自己人生最后几个月的恐怖而痛苦经历,并恳请加国议会改变“不公平的”禁止辅助自杀法规。

A Chinese community member, Toronto lawyer Edward Hung, also made an emotional posthumous plea for assisted suicide. Hung, who died in 2014 in Switzerland, left behind a letter chronicling his decision to die with dignity. In a three-page letter, Edward Hung gave a harrowing account of his final few months while calling on Parliament to change Canada’s “unjust” laws against assisted suicide.


洪律师在遗书中写道:“当我卑躬屈膝乞求在另一个国家结束生命时,我深感有辱一名加拿大人的自豪感。这感到不公,也不希望我的加拿大同胞们步我的后尘。”

“However, my pride as a Canadian has somewhat diminished after having been on my knees begging to die in another country. This is not fair and I certainly do not wish it upon any of my fellow Canadians,” Hung wrote.


洪律师称,他在尝尽所有医疗方法,包括远赴中国偏远地区求助一名“神医”后,开始安排安乐死计划。但是令他大失所望的是,由于加国禁止辅助自杀,这种计划在加国根本行不通。

Hung said that he made an exit plan after he exhausted all medical options for treatment, including a “master miracle doctor” in a remote place in China. But to his disappointment, such a plan was impossible to carry out in Canada, given the country’s ban on assisted suicide. 


洪律师因此被迫前往瑞士寻求医生辅助自杀,但是作为一个外国人,他必须通过艰苦繁复和代价高昂的申请流程才能获得辅助自杀的资格。虽然洪律师很幸运,他拥有足够财力,从而得以实现安乐死计划,但加国其他患者却没有如此幸运,因而无法在它国实施医生辅助自杀计划。

But Hung, as a foreigner, had to go through a frustrating and costly process in order to qualify for the service in Switzerland. While Hung was lucky enough to have the financial resources to achieve a plan, others were barred from accessing doctor-assisted death in a foreign country. 


按照新议案,所有身患某种疾病的加国人士都将有权选择以医疗辅助形式结束生命。而这一议案的提出将使包括洪律师在内的,曾奋力争取辅助自杀之权利的许多加国人士的在天之灵得以慰籍。

Under the new bill, all Canadians suffering a qualified medical illness are granted rights to choose their own fate with medical assistance. And passing the bill may speak great comfort to the soul of many Canadians who fought for the rights to assisted suicide – including Mr. Hung. 


洪律师在遗书中写道:“我将会平静地离去,没有痛苦,没有遗憾,并因能探寻死亡之意义而深感欣慰。”

 “I will rest in peace, with no pain, no regrets, and with the comfort that I have been able to approach death with a purpose.”
 

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