Right-To-Die Issue: Son Says His Mother Ended Life To Change Canadian Law (EXCLUSIVE)

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By IBTimes Staff Reporter | February 14, 2013 5:06 PM EST

The Feb 2 suicide of a woman in a bid to change the Canadian Right-to-die law has raised questions about the country's laws.

In an email conversation with International Business Times, Dean Godman, Ruth's son, Tuesday said that his mother committed suicide Feb 2 in an effort to change the right-to-die law.

Ruth Goodman, who ended her life this month, had made the decision to make use of her life for the cause twenty five years ago.

"I am a 91-year-old woman who has decided to end my life in the very near future. I do not have a terminal illness; I am simply old, tired and becoming dependent, after a wonderful life of independence. By the time people read this, I will have died. I am writing this letter to advocate for a change in the law so that all will be able to make this choice," Ruth Goodman said in the letter a copy of which was received by IBTimes from her son.

Dean said "no" when asked if he was planning to sue the government, adding that he was engaged in other political activities. In contrast to his mother's letter, Dean said that she was lately not well.

"My mother was old, frail and in seriously failing health.  She was not a Buddhist monk pouring gasoline over head in protest over the horrible Vietnam War. Still the laws need to be changed," said Dean.

Ruth Goodman renewed her driving license in December.

In 1992, Sue Rodriguez, an advocate for assist-suicide brought the debate into spotlight in Canada and later in 1994, committed suicide with the help of an anonymous doctor, according to CBC News.

In a video statement addressed to the House of Commons, Rodriguez asked whether one didn't have the right to die. 

"If I cannot give consent to my own death, whose body is this? Who owns my life?"

The advocate was ultimately thumped down by the Supreme Court of Canada.

In 2001, the Netherlands legalized the voluntary euthanasia. In Canada, like in most other countries, assisted-suicide is illegal.

A third party or physician giving the patient the means to end his or her life is legal in the U.S. cities like Washington and Montana. 

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