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Update on – complex – Canadian developments

UPDATE on Canadian developments.

Since Quebec law and Federal development interact with each other, in the scheme below it is tried to give a schematic overview; see following

June  2014

Quebec adopts End-of-Life Care Bill, to become into effect on December 10, 2015

February 2015

Supreme Court of Canada unanimously struck down portions of the criminal code which made physician assisted dying (PAD) illegal.

 The court gave the government of Canada twelve months to amend the Criminal Code

December 1, 2015

A Quebec Superior Court Justice ruled that the provincial law must be in line with federal laws, which take precedence, and since those have not yet been changed to reflect the Supreme Court ruling on assisted-suicide, the Quebec law cannot take effect.

 December 1, 2015

Within an hour of the ruling Tuesday, the Quebec government announced it would appeal the decision.

December 3, 2015

On Monday, federal lawyers will ask the court for a six-month extension to align the Criminal Code and provincial legislation with the court’s landmark 2015 judgment striking down the law against assisted suicide. It gave the federal government one year – until Feb. 6, 2016 – to enact constitutionally sound law. If the deadline passes without an extension, the old law will be invalid, opening the door to the possibility of the unregulated practice of physician-assisted death.

December 9, 2015

Quebec will go ahead with its medically assisted dying law tomorrow, as planned. 

Health Minister Gaétan Barrette confirmed “Bill [52], as we know it, will go into effect starting tomorrow, Dec. 10.”  

Barrette said the law will remain in effect at least until Dec. 18, when the Court of Appeal will hear arguments from all sides on last week’s decision by the Quebec Superior Court which suspended key aspects of the new law.

December 10, 2015

First euthanasia in Quebec

December 18, 2015

Quebec’s Court of Appeal has maintained the province’s right to allow terminally ill patients the choice to die with medical help, the first law of its kind in Canada.

This morning, a three-judge Court of Appeal panel overturned a Dec. 1 Quebec Superior Court judgement aimed at suspending implementation of the province’s law, Bill 52, until certain provisions of the Criminal Code were changed.

January 15, 2016

Today the Supreme Court decided to grant the Federal government a four month extension to legislate on the issues of euthanasia and assisted suicide, they agreed to exempt Québec from the extension and based on national “fairness” they have enabled Canadians to petition the Superior Court for approval to die by lethal injection. If governments do not legislate on the issues within four months, Canada’s assisted suicide law (Section 241b) will be null and void leaving no protection in law for Canadians.