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Physician-Assisted Death – Bill C-14

On April 14, 2016, the government introduced Bill C-14 that would legalize medical assistance in dying if it comes into force.

To understand the implications of the language in Bill C-14, a bit of history is in order. In February 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada held that a blanket ban on assisted death was unconstitutional, and ordered Parliament to draft right-to-die legislation that respects the Charter. The Supreme Court of Canada in Carter v. Canada (Attorney General) specifically held that the test for qualifying for medically assisted death in Canada should be: competent adult persons that (1) clearly consent to the termination of life, and (2) have a grievous and irremediable medical condition that causes enduring and intolerable suffering to the individual in the circumstances of his or her condition.

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