Tim Bradley, Reasearch Associate
Charlotte Lozier Institute
Death by euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide is primed to take off in Canada, as Parliament passed Bill C-14 on June 17. The law, which establishes guidelines under which Canadians can receive assistance in killing themselves or be euthanized by medical personnel, received royal assent the same day. Royal assent can be supplied by the Governor General and does not denote approval by Buckingham Palace.
C-14 represents the culmination of a process that was set in motion more than a year and a half ago. The Supreme Court of Canada decriminalized assisted suicide and euthanasia in its decision in Carter v. Canada on February 6, 2015.
In that decision the unanimous court held “that the prohibition on physician-assisted dying is void insofar as it deprives a competent adult of such assistance where (1) the person affected clearly consents to the termination of life; and (2) the person has a grievous and irremediable medical condition … that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual in the circumstances of his or her condition.” Included in the court’s consideration of qualifying medical conditions is “physical or psychological” pain.
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