CANADA: Aided Suicide

Although she was but 45 years old, Nukashook had about reached the end of her days. In the tiny village of Eelounaling on Boothia Peninsula, one of Canada's northernmost Eskimo settlements, children regarded her as a cross and ugly old hag. The "spitting sickness" (tuberculosis) had long plagued her and her teeth were gone. One day last summer, while she lay coughing in her tepee, Nukashook called to Eeriykoot, her 21-year-old son. "I am suffering too much," she said. "Put up the rope so I may kill myself."

Eeriykoot, though he knew all about his people's custom of mercy killings, protested....

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