Department of Justice Canada

Department of Justice Canada

December 11, 2015 13:52 ET

Statement by the Attorney General of Canada on Physician-Assisted Dying

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 11, 2015) - Department of Justice Canada

The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today issued the following statement on the Government of Canada's position regarding physician-assisted dying:

"The Government of Canada is committed to developing a thoughtful, sensitive, and well-informed response to the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) decision in the Carter v. Canada case.

"We have requested an extension of the suspension of the Carter decision to ensure that the federal government and all the provinces and territories have the necessary time to continue the good work that is under way, and to prepare together for the implementation of the Carter decision. We are sensitive to the reality that an extension may mean that some Canadians will have to wait to access physician-assisted dying, but it is necessary to ensure that sufficient protections are in place across the country.

"The government of Canada's interest is in a uniform criminal law for all Canadians. Parliament is engaged in considering that law. Quebec's law is now under consideration by the Quebec Court of Appeal. Quebec's request to the SCC to be exempted from a further period of suspension is worthy of consideration because their law addresses the regulation of access, procedures and administration of physician-assisted dying through euthanasia.

"We recognize the leadership that Quebec has demonstrated in developing its own legislation on physician-assisted dying. We will continue to work with Québec, as well as the other provinces and territories, to develop a coordinated approach to physician-assisted death across the country."

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