Extension granted for physician-assisted death legislation

Publish date: Friday, January 15, 2016

Health care

The Supreme Court of Canada has granted the federal government a four month extension to draft legislation and regulations for physician- assisted death. The extension includes an exemption clause affording anyone, who meets the criteria, the right to ask a judge to end their life earlier.

Last year, the court ruled that Canadians have the constitutional right to escape unendurable suffering and that it would no longer be illegal for a physician to assist a competent adult to die, in situations where the adult experiences enduring, intolerable suffering from a grievous, irremediable condition.

The previous Conservative federal government, along with the provincial and territorial governments were given a year to prepare for the ruling to come into effect. However, on December 3, 2016 the newly elected Liberal government asked the court for a six-month extension to draft new laws on doctor-assisted dying.



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