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Canada's top court overturns ban on assisted suicide

February 06, 2015

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Canada's highest court has struck down the nation's law against physician-assisted suicide.

In a unanimous ruling released on February 6, the Supreme Court said that the option for terminally ill patients to end his own lives is "critical to their dignity and autonomy."

The decision says that physician-assisted suicide should be available in cases involving “a competent adult person who clearly consents to the termination of life and has a grievous and irremediable medical condition, including an illness, disease or disability, that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual in the circumstances of his or her condition.”

The court said that doctors should not be compelled to assist in suicides. The court also stipulated that the decision will not take effect for a year, giving legislators the opportunity to craft laws setting the standards for legal assisted suicide.


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  • Posted by: lfjardine9175 - Feb. 08, 2015 5:34 PM ET USA

    In a related, and disturbing development, the college of physicians and surgeons of ontario (the medical licencing authority in Canada's largest province), is considering amending rules that currently protect physician's freedom of conscience. If they succeed, physicians in Ontario would no longer be able to refuse requests for "medical care" - including abortion and euthanasia.