Sue Rodriguez, Date of Birth, Place of Birth, Date of Death


Sue Rodriguez

Canadian activist

Date of Birth: 02-Aug-1950

Place of Birth: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Date of Death: 12-Feb-1994

Profession: activist

Nationality: Canada

Zodiac Sign: Leo

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About Sue Rodriguez

  • Sue Rodriguez (August 2, 1950 – February 12, 1994) was a Canadian right to die activist.
  • In August 1991, she was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease) and was given two to five years to live.
  • She ultimately made the decision to end her life and she sought the assistance of a doctor to that end.
  • However, none would help her; under section 241(b) of the nation's Criminal Code, anyone who "...aids or abets a person to commit suicide, whether suicide ensues or not, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years".
  • Rodriguez sought a legal exception in her home province, British Columbia, but was denied. The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) filed a lawsuit, Rodriguez v British Columbia (AG), that challenged section 241(b) as contrary to sections 7, 12, and 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  • In a videotaped address to Parliament on November 24, 1992, Rodriguez famously asked, “If I cannot give consent to my own death, whose body is this? Who owns my life?” On May 20, 1993, her case was heard by the Supreme Court of Canada.
  • On September 30 of that year, it decided against her 5-4.On February 12, 1994, with the assistance of an anonymous doctor, Sue Rodriguez took her own life by ingesting a liquid mixture of morphine and secobarbital The doctor's intervention was arranged by MP Svend Robinson, who was regarded as one of Rodriguez's most prominent supporters.
  • Robinson was present at her death.
  • However, by her request, her ex-husband Henry and their son Cole were not.
  • An investigation was undertaken, but no charges were laid.
  • Robinson has vowed never to reveal the anonymous doctor's identity. Almost 23 years later, on June 7, 2016, physician-assisted suicide became legal in Canada as the result of a similar Supreme Court case, Carter v Canada (AG).
  • The Court unanimously struck down parts of section 241(b) and section 14 of the Criminal Code which the justices ruled unjustifiably infringed on section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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