Last updated on: 7/23/2013 | Author:

June 7, 2016 – Physician-Assisted Suicide Becomes Legal in Canada

“Last year the Supreme Court of Canada struck down Criminal Code provisions forbidding physician-assisted suicide and gave Parliament a year to rewrite the law. The government of former prime minister Stephen Harper did not draft a new law before its defeat in last October’s election. With the court’s original February deadline looming, Trudeau’s government asked for a six-month extension. The court consented to only four more months.

That deadline passed on Monday [June 6, 2016]. Physician-assisted suicide can now be performed legally starting Tuesday [June 7, 2016], with no restrictions under the Criminal Code. The House of Commons passed the new Liberal law, C-14, last week. The Senate has only begun deliberating.

Bill C-14 permits physician-assisted suicide only in cases where the patient’s death is ‘reasonably foreseeable.’ That’s different from the Court’s phrasing: it held unanimously that a patient suffering a ‘grievous and irremediable medical condition’ could seek a physician’s help to end ‘suffering that is intolerable.'”