Canadian Parliament passes assisted dying law

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The Canadian Parliament has passed a law that allows the terminally ill to choose assisted dying in restricted circumstances.

The Parliament of Canada has legalised assisted dying. (Photo: Jeffery Nichols)

The Parliament of Canada has legalised assisted dying. (Photo: Jeffery Nichols)

 

The historic law was passed this Friday and allows a dying patient to opt for assisted dying within specific limitations:

  • The patient must —
    • be 18 or older;
    • be mentally competent;
    • be eligible for government-funded healthcare (at the same time as ensuring the patient has access to appropriate care, this prevents non-residents from accessing the law);
    • Have a serious, incurable illness or condition in an advanced state of irreversible decline; and
    • Be experiencing intolerable suffering.
  • The patient's request must be signed by two independent witnesses.
  • There is a mandatory cooling off period of fifteen days.

 
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau supported the legislation.

Jody Wilson-Raybould, Miniter for Justice, issued a statement with the Attorney General and Minister of Health, saying that the legislation as passed "strikes the right balance between personal autonomy for those seeking access to medically assisted dying and protecting the vulnerable."

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