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People demonstrate outside the B.C. Court of Appeal before a hearing into the federal government’s appeal of the B.C. Supreme Court ruling that struck down the laws making physician-assisted dying illegal, in Vancouver on March 4, 2013. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)
People demonstrate outside the B.C. Court of Appeal before a hearing into the federal government’s appeal of the B.C. Supreme Court ruling that struck down the laws making physician-assisted dying illegal, in Vancouver on March 4, 2013. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Appeal of doctor-assisted suicide ruling postponed two weeks Add to ...

The appeal of a landmark B.C. Supreme Court ruling that opened the door for terminally ill people to end their lives with the help of a doctor has been adjourned for two weeks.

Federal government lawyers and counsel with the B.C. Civil Liberties Association will return to the B.C. Court of Appeal later this month to argue over whether Canadians should have the right to doctor-assisted suicide.

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A week of hearings was put off Monday because one of the key government lawyers has fallen ill.

Before the delay was announced, several dozen people gathered outside the court carrying signs both condemning and praising the legal possibility of the right to die.

Norm Kunc, who has cerebral palsy, says it’s naive to think that legalizing assisted death wouldn’t have implications on people with disabilities and he fears someone else could decide his life isn’t worth living.

But Shelly Hunter says she saw helplessness in the way her 81-year-old father died, and that’s prompted her to hope there will eventually be a better option if she were to ever find herself dying a difficult death.

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