Canada- assisted suicide bill


Canada’s national flag. Image: Makaristos via Wikimedia Commons

Thursday 14th April saw an introduction of a bill to legalise doctor assisted suicide in Canada.

The government of Canada led by staunch advocate of the bill Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have introduced this bill since the Supreme Court threw out a previous bill that banned doctor assisted suicide.

Doctor assisted suicide in Canada was previously an offence that carried a maximum jail sentence of 14 years.

This new bill has a clause that allows only citizens of Canada and permanent residents who are eligibale for government assisted health care to be legally allowed to be assisted in suicide.

This is markedly different from perhaps the most famous country that allows doctor assisted suicide, Switzerland, where people can travel to the country to end their life.

The bill does not allow ‘suicide tourism’.

This phrase is being used to show that this bill is specifically designed for those within Canada and not for people who wish to travel to end their life from a country without a bill such as this.

Doctor assisted suicide is a subject that is becoming more widely discussed throughout the world.

This type of assisted suicide is legal in a growing number of countries including Switzerland, Japan, Albania and Germany.

There are also states in America that allow it, New Mexico, Montana, Vermont, Oregon, Washington and California.

There are other countries that have laws allowing for human euthanasia.

The two terms seem to highlight a difference in the amount of help given by the doctor.

There is still confusion however about the differences between human euthanasia and doctor assisted suicide as the terms are not always used consistently.



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