Legal Rights: Life, Liberty & Security of person
7. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof expect in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.
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The wording of section 7 says that it applies to “everyone”. This includes all people within Canada including non-citizens.
Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a constitutional provision that protects an individual’s autonomy and personal legal rights from actions of the government in Canada.
Life: First, there is the right to life, which stands generally as the basic right to be alive. It has had very little legal impact, arguments such as the unborn have a right to life were dismissed. Also, the Court denied that the section 7 right to bodily control could trump the right to life and thereby justify assisted suicide.
Liberty: Secondly, there is the right to liberty, which protects an individual’s freedom to act without physical restraint. However, the right has been extended to include the power to make important personal choices.
Security: Lastly, there is the right to security of the person, which consists of rights to privacy of the body and its health and of the right protecting the “psychological integrity” of an individual. That is, the right protects against significant government-inflicted harm (stress) to the mental state of the individual.
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