Assisted-suicide law challenger dies before case heard

Ginette Leblanc



MONTREAL — The Quebec woman stricken with Lou Gehrig's disease, who launched a challenge against the country's assisted-suicide laws, died on Saturday.

She was 50.

Ginette Leblanc hired a high-profile lawyer to argue in front of the Quebec Superior Court that Canada's law banning assisted suicide is unconstitutional.

She died before her lawyer, Rene Duval, was able to argue the case in March.

Duval said Saturday that due to Leblanc's death, the case is now closed.

Duval told QMI that his client was "courageous, determined, but who couldn't complete her legal battle.

She died with dignity."

Lou Gehrig's disease, known officially as ALS, affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

A special committee studying suicide tabled its report in Quebec's legislature in March 2012 and it recommended that Canadians should have the right to "medical aid in dying" in "very specific situations."

Funeral services for Leblanc will he held Saturday in Trois-Rivieres, Que.

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