WILKIE, Sask. - Robert Latimer has been granted permission by the parole board to attend a panel debate in the United Kingdom on end-of-life issues.
Latimer said Monday the Oct. 18 discussion is being organized by the University of Oxford and will feature eight panellists — four on each side of topics such as mercy killings and assisted suicides.
"Britain doesn't want to make the same stupid mistakes they made here," Latimer told The Canadian Press from the family farm in Wilkie, Sask.
"I am hoping to eventually gain my freedom and the courts show no interest in doing it, so you've got to take whatever shots at them you can. They were taking pot shots at us so you've got to return the favour."
Latimer said he has been issued a limited passport for the trip.
The 59-year-old is currently serving a life sentence for second-degree murder in the 1993 death of his severely disabled 12-year-old daughter Tracy. He was granted full parole in 2010.
Tracy died of carbon monoxide poisoning after her father put her in a truck that had a hose fed from the exhaust into the cab.
Latimer admitted what he did, but said he wanted to end his daughter's suffering from the chronic, excruciating pain of cerebral palsy.
He continues to maintain he did nothing wrong and hopes people attending the panel discussion realize how "crooked" the Canadian justice system has been in dealing with his case.
"People shouldn't have to be tortured just to maintain life," he said. "The technology that exists now, compared to 100 years ago to keep people alive is vastly different. They are far more successful at maintaining a live body than they ever used to be."
Latimer was convicted in 1994 and, in 1995, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal upheld the mandatory minimum sentence of life, without parole for 10 years. Jurors in the case had recommended less.
The case went to the Supreme Court of Canada, which ordered a new trial in 1997 because of errors by the RCMP and prosecutor.
Latimer's second trial concluded in November 1997 with another second-degree murder conviction.
The case was again appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada, which ruled unanimously in January 2001 that Latimer had to serve 10 years in prison. The court said Latimer had other options to ease Tracy's suffering.
Latimer continues to be troubled by a reference the Supreme Court made to an unidentified, more effective, medication Tracy could have been given to ease her pain. He was of the belief that Tylenol was all her fragile system could handle.
He has repeatedly written justice officials asking for clarification. He said he is currently working with a B.C. lawyer to seek a further review of his case through the courts.
Latimer was released from prison in February 2008 on day parole, but his initial request for full parole was denied.
The Federal Court eventually ordered the National Parole Board to revisit its decision denying an expansion of parole.
The judge said the board failed to follow its own legally binding principles — most notably that the paramount consideration for a person's release be the protection of society.
The court noted Latimer has consistently been found to be at "very low" risk of reoffending.
Latimer currently lives in Victoria, but often travels back to the farm in Saskatchewan be with his family.
— By Tim Cook in Edmonton
Related on HuffPost:
Euthanasia In Canada
Here's a look at the state of Euthanasia laws in Canada and their history.
Suicide Not A Crime
Suicide hasn't been a crime in Canada since 1972. (Shutterstock)
Doctor-Assisted Suicide Illegal
Doctor-assisted suicide is illegal, although the ruling of the B.C. Supreme Court will force Parliament to alter the law within one year.<br><br> The <a href="http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-46/page-113.html#h-79" target="_hplink">Criminal Code of Canada states in section 241</a> that:<br><br> "Every one who (a) counsels a person to commit suicide, or (b) aids or abets a person to commit suicide, whether suicide ensues or not, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years." (Alamy)
Passive euthanasia involves letting a patient die instead of prolonging life with medical measures. Passive euthanasia is legal in Canada.<br><br> The decision is left in the hands of family or a designated proxy. Written wishes, including those found in living wills, do not have to be followed by family or a proxy. (Alamy)
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rodriguez_v._British_Columbia_(Attorney_General)" target="_hplink">Sue Rodriguez</a>, who suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease), launched a case asking the Supreme Court of Canada to allow her to end her own life on the grounds that the current law discriminated against her disability.<br><br> Because suicide is legal in Canada and Rodriguez was unable to end her life because of a lack of mobility, she argued it was discriminatory to prevent her from ending her own life with the aid of another.<br><br> The court refused her request in 1993, but one year later she ended her life anyway with the help of an unnamed doctor. (CP)
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Latimer" target="_hplink">Robert Latimer was convicted of second-degree murder in the 1993 death of his severely disabled daughter Tracy</a>. A lack of oxygen during Tracy's birth led to cerebral palsy and serious mental and physical disabilities, including seizures and the inability to walk or talk. Her father ended Tracy's life by placing her in his truck and connecting a hose to the vehicle's exhaust.<br><br>The case led to a heated debate over euthanasia in Canada and two Supreme Court challenges. <br><br>Latimer was granted day parole in 2008 and full parole in 2010. (CP)
Bills To Legalize
Former Bloc Québécois MP Francine Lalonde tried repeatedly to get legislation legalizing euthanasia in Canada passed. Bill C-407 and Bill C-384 were both aimed at making assisted suicide legal. C-384 was defeated in the House 228 to 59, with many Bloc MPs and a handful of members from all other parties voting for the legislation.<br><br> Tetraplegic Tory MP Steven Fletcher, pictured, made the following statement after C-384 was defeated: <br><br> "I would like to be recorded as abstaining on this bill. The reason is I believe end of life issues need to be debated more in our country. I believe that life should be the first choice but not the only choice and that we have to ensure that resources and supports are provided to Canadians so that choice is free. I believe, when all is said and done, the individual is ultimately responsible. I want to make this decision for myself, and if I cannot, I want my family to make the decision. I believe most Canadians, or many Canadians, feel the same. As William Henley said in his poem Invictus, "I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul."<br><br>(CP)