Canada's new assisted suicide bill

Canada's new assisted suicide bill

Canada has issued a new bill that will allow assisted suicide, but it only applies to Canadians and residents, which means no foreigner can visit the country with the express intention of committing assisted suicide. Obviously, the assistant would be liable for murder if this were the case.

Assisted suicide is already legal in Switzerland, Germany, Albania, Colombia, Japan, and in five U.S. states (Washington, Oregon, Vermont, New Mexico, and Montana). Proponents of the bill state that the law will provide an opportunity for those adults “who are suffering intolerably and for whom death is reasonably foreseeable."

The bill has not been made a law yet, but it is scheduled to be passed by June 6, 2016. At the moment, assisted suicide is an offence, according to s.24s of Canada’s Criminal Code. In June 15, 2012, Justice Lynn Smith went on rampage against the law saying that it violated sections 7 and 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The government placed the law on standby to allow for amendments.

This appeal from Justice Smith was overturned by the British Columbia Court of Appeal.  A new appeal was made and the Supreme Court heard it in October 2015 and released their decision on February 6, 2015. At that time, the Court agreed that the prohibition of assisted suicide violates section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This decision by the Court was withheld by the government for twelve months to allow time for experts to revise existing laws or even carve new ones if the situations determine it.

On December, 2015, the New Liberal Movement, made a motion to extend the declaration for another six months, but it was declined. On January 15, 2016, the Supreme Court granted another four months extension. The bill is scheduled to be revised and promoted in June of this year. 

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