Canada: an extra 4 months granted for the implementation of medically assisted dying

Publié le 17 Jan, 2016

In Canada, the Supreme Court held that two articles in the criminal code banning medically assisted dying were unconstitutional (see Canadian Government rethinks legislation to authorise assisted suicide). The Canadian Government had one year to rewrite the law. The Canadian Supreme Court has just granted Ottawa an additional 4 months before implementing the “Carter judgment”, which must come into force on 6 June 2016. This judgment concludes that it is“no longer illegal for a doctor to help a patient who is suffering excessively to put an end to this suffering through death, even if the said patient is not at the end of his/her life”.


There are several exemptions regarding this timescale:

·         Judges “are exempting Quebec from this extension”. Quebec law governing the end of life came into force on 10 December 2015 and will remain unchallenged.

·         Canadians wishing “to exercise their rights without waiting an extra four months” “can contact the Superior Court in their province or region to obtain an order and thus proceed with plans to end their life”.

Métro Canada (Lina Dib) 15/01/2016

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