The B.C. woman who fought to change Canada’s law on physician-assisted suicide has died from a severe infection, according to a group that helped her with a landmark court case, which gave her the right to seek a doctor to help her die at a time of her choosing.
Gloria Taylor, who suffered from the degenerative illness ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, died Thursday from a perforated colon, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association said in a release Friday. Taylor was 64.
Taylor, of Westbank, B.C., was the lead plaintiff in the BCCLA’s death with dignity lawsuit before the B.C. Supreme Court, which ruled in June that the law was unconstitutional.
The federal government has sought to appeal the ruling.
The judge in the case also granted Taylor a personal exemption allowing her the right to seek a physician-assisted death.
"I'm so grateful to know that if I choose to do so I will be allowed to seek a doctor's help to a peaceful and dignified death. This brings me great solace and comfort," Taylor said after the court's June decision.
BCCLA spokeswoman Grace Pastine said Taylor’s death was sudden and unexpected and due to a severe infection.
“Gloria’s death was quick and peaceful and she was spared from the prolonged death from ALS that she dreaded and which inspired her participation in the lawsuit,” Pastine said.
The release did not say where Taylor died.