Quebec top court upholds ‘physician-assisted death’ law News
Quebec top court upholds ‘physician-assisted death’ law

[JURIST] The Court of Appeals of Quebec [official website] on Tuesday overturned a lower court injunction and ruled [judgment, PDF, in French] that Quebec’s physician-assisted death law is not in conflict with any elements of the Quebec Criminal Code [text]. The legislation [Bill 52], which became law on December 10, 2014, lays out how terminally-ill patients may obtain physician assistance in ending their life. On a challenge by a group of physicians, the Superior Court of Quebec [official website] implemented an injunction last month, questioning whether the law violates portions of the criminal code aimed at preventing assisted dying. Quebec’s highest court overturned the injunction, holding that Canada’s Supreme Court struck down [JURIST report] those portions of the code in February.

The right to die [JURIST news archive] is a contentious issue worldwide. Last month German lawmakers passed a bill [JURIST report] allowing assisted suicide for “altruistic motives” but banning the practice in cases where it is being conducted on a “business” basis. The month before California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation [JURIST report] that provides terminally ill patients the right to die. In May a Dutch court cleared [JURIST report] a man of all criminal charges for assisting his 99-year-old mother in committing suicide. In April a South African judge ruled [JURIST report] that a terminally ill man had a right to assisted suicide with no legal or professional consequences for the participating doctor.