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B.C. judge orders fast trial for woman challenging laws against assisted suicide

A B.C. judge has ordered a speedy trial for a dying woman who wants to challenge Canada's laws against assisted suicide.

A lawyer for Gloria Taylor argued his client's case should be heard by November because her condition is deteriorating and she wants the chance to die with dignity.

"I am satisfied the time is urgent," said B.C. Supreme Court Justice Lynn Smith.

However, a lawyer for the federal government said such a fast trial should not be considered because the case is too complex to be prepared that quickly.

A four-week summary trial will be held beginning Nov. 15.

Taylor's lawyer, Joe Arvay, said the decision to fast track the trial means his client may now have the chance she wants to use a doctor to help her end her life.

Taylor has Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease, and Arvay told the court earlier in the week that her condition is getting worse.

"Gloria is an amazing woman. She has lived much longer than the doctors had predicted that she would," Arvay told reporters outside the court.

"She told me that she was going to hang on as long as it took in order for her to exercise her constitutional rights."

Taylor's case is one of two in front of Smith, with right-to-die advocates saying it is time to reconsider a 1993 Supreme Court of Canada decision denying Sue Rodriguez the right to take her own life.

Rodriguez also had ALS.

Note to readers: This is a corrected version. A previous version spelled the judge's first name incorrectly.

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