Supreme Court of Canada permits assisted suicide

Supreme Court of Canada decides to allow assisted suicide while it gives time for country to regulate its circumstances

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

The Supreme Court of Canada decided on Friday to allow assisted suicide under certain conditions throughout the country while granting the federal government four more months to come up with a law governing the practice.

The high court had given Parliament a year to regulate how and when physician-assisted suicide would be permitted after overturning a ban last February.

But the work got off schedule because of the Oct. 19 general election and the subsequent change of government, and the justice minister asked for the decision to be suspended for an extra six months.

On Friday, the court granted the government four additional months. It said doctors would be allowed to facilitate the death of patients in the province of Quebec, which had already put its own law into effect in December.

It also said people anywhere else in the country can apply to their provincial superior court for judicial authorization "to those who wish to exercise their rights" to doctor-assisted death.

The case is Carter v. Canada (Attorney General), 2016 SCC 4.