A husband in Saskatoon is in legal limbo after witnessing his wife kill herself. His wife decided to commit suicide after being denied medically assisted suicide. She grounded up pills, and after taking them laid down next to her husband where she passed. The husband called the police afterward, which led to his arrest although he was later released.

This raises a legal question about whether or not someone is legally at fault if they do nothing to prevent a suicide. Toronto criminal lawyer Edward Prutschi stated that people are not legally obligated to do anything in this situation, but they cannot participate in any way in aiding it.

Right now all documentation supports the husband’s story, but police are still looking into it. With Dellen Millard now on trial for his father’s murder that was staged to look like a suicide, it’s understandable that the Crown is taking extra effort. It’s a sad story, but if the facts are as the husband has laid them out he is in the clear.

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About the author

I am one of the senior partners at Bytensky Shikhman, a criminal litigation firm in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In my 25+ year career, I have conducted numerous trials and appeals before all levels of Court in Ontario, defending just about every type of charge in our criminal law. I am also an Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy at Osgoode Hall Law School and currently the Treasurer of the Criminal Lawyers' Association of Ontario. I am also an Adjunct Professor for Trial Advocacy at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University and a regular lecturer and placement supervisor for Osgoode's Intensive Programme in Criminal Law.
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