Husband Charged With Attempting To Assist Wife's Suicide
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
July 8, 2005
SHERBROOKE, QUEBEC--A Fleurimont, Quebec man has been charged with attempted murder in what is being called a failed assisted suicide.
André Bergeron, 46, called for an ambulance Thursday afternoon, saying he had just killed his wife, 44-year-old Marielle Houle.
When emergency workers arrived, however, they found that Houle was alive, but was not conscious nor breathing.
By Friday afternoon, she was in serious but stable condition in a local hospital.
Bergeron's defense attorney, Jean Couture, told reporters his client's defense would be based on the attempted killing being a crime of compassion.
According to various news accounts, Houle has Friedreich ataxia, a rare, degenerative condition that affects the nervous system. The genetic illness affects about one in 50,000 Canadians.
While it is not illegal to commit suicide in Canada, assisting in a suicide currently carries up to a 14-year prison term.
CBC News reported that Bergeron was released until a court date in September. In the meantime he is allowed to see his wife, but not to be alone with her.