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Latimer v. The Queen

Supreme Court of Canada
1 S.C.R. 3 (2001)


Facts

Robert Latimer (defendant) had a twelve-year-old daughter, Tracy, who suffered from cerebral palsy. Due to her condition, Tracy was completely dependent on others to care for her and underwent many surgeries. She suffered from substantial pain but could not consume pain killers because it would interfere with her anti-epileptic medicine. Although her parents could have administered pain killers by inserting a feeding tube into her stomach, her parents decided against it. Her parents also considered sending Tracy to a group home, but also decided against it. In 1993, Tracy was scheduled to undergo another surgery. Doctors expected that the procedure would be very painful for Tracy. Upon learning that the doctors wished to perform the surgery, Latimer decided to end Tracy’s life. He placed her in his car and caused her to inhale carbon monoxide until she died. Latimer was convicted of second degree murder.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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