Canada: a Court of Appeal upholds the prohibition of euthanasia

Publié le : 24 October 2013

 The British Columbia (western Canadian province) Court of Appeal has decided to "uphold the prohibition of euthanasia in Canada". The Court is thus overturning "a Court of First Instance decision" following which the Canadian government appealed "arguing the need to protect the most vulnerable people in society". 

In their decision, Justices Mary Newbury and Mary Saunders pointed out that: "The societal consequences of permitting physician-assisted suicide in Canada are a matter of serious concern to many Canadians and, as seen in a review of the evidence in this case, no consensus on the subject is apparent, even among ethicists or medical practitioners". For Justices Newbury and Saunders, there is no doubt that a decision taken by the Canadian Supreme Court in 1993 "which confirmed the illegality of medically assisted suicide" bound first instance magistrates.   
The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association announced that it "would appeal to the Canadian Supreme Court against this new decision".

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