The Canadian Press reported that a sickly Marcel Tremblay consumed two beers, two shrimp and a crab cake at what he called “a living wake” on Friday, then went home and killed himself, sparking a countrywide debate on the right-to-die issue. Tremblay said he had a litany of health problems, including back trouble, stomach problems and an incurable and eventually fatal lung condition.
The frail, 78-year-old man appeared remarkably nonchalant and upbeat as he prepared to die, saying he was fed up with suffering from a fatal lung disease and hoped that Canadians would debate the issue of assisted suicide. “I‘m 110 per cent positive of what I want to do and I‘m justified in my thinking of why I want to do it,” said Tremblay, his raspy voice sounding firm and confident after a goodbye party with family and friends. “I want them to debate it. I want them to talk about it.” Tremblay took his own life by pulling a helium-filled bag over his head. “To live the way I‘m living is not living. It‘s existing, and there‘s no reason to continue it day in and day out for any longer than I‘ve already done.”
He was lucky, he said, because he was still strong enough to tug the bag over his head his method of choice and “pull the plug.” The police and a priest knew his plans and declined to intervene. Tremblay felt that the law should be changed to allow assisted suicide, said his lawyer, “He is in a position where he can do something.”
Tremblay said even groups that support death with dignity don‘t want to talk about suicide. “They all say: ‘Don‘t call the police, don‘t tell anybody, go in the corner and do it. We‘re never going to get that law changed if everybody does that. I could have done that like everybody else is doing. This is going on all the time but people just don’t want to talk about it.”
Since Tremblay didn’t get any help killing himself, there is be no crime, he said. An unidentified, independent witness would be on hand to confirm no help was given.