August 2, 1950|
||February 12, 1994
Sue Rodriguez (August 2, 1950 – February 12, 1994) was an advocate of assisted suicide.
She was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, with the given name Sue Shipley, and grew up in Thornhill, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto. Her first marriage was short-lived.
Rodriguez, who lived in Victoria, British Columbia, was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in early 1991. She fought to have a legal right to assisted suicide; under the Criminal Code of Canada, assisted suicide is punishable by a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison. She took her cause to the Supreme Court of Canada, but ultimately lost the battle. On September 30, 1993, in what would become a landmark decision, Rodriguez v. British Columbia (Attorney General), the SCC held 5-4 against her.
In 1994, she decided to take her own life with the help of an anonymous physician. Svend Robinson, a New Democratic Party MP who had campaigned her cause, was also present.
A 1998 film called At the End of the Day: The Sue Rodriguez Story, with Wendy Crewson as Rodriguez, tells her story.