NEWS

Supreme Court's assisted-death reversal welcomed by Quebec government

02/06/2015 10:43 EST | Updated 04/08/2015 05:59 EDT
The Supreme Court of Canada's ruling to overturn the country's ban on physician-assisted death will have huge implications for Quebec's own end-of-life law.

People with grievous and irremediable medical conditions should have the right to ask a doctor to help them die, Canada's highest court said Friday in a unanimous ruling.

Quebec was the first province in Canada to allow its citizens to seek medical assistance in dying. It passed its Act respecting end-of-life care on June 5, 2014 in a 94-22 decision with no abstentions.

The non-partisan bill spelled out the conditions in which a terminally ill patient could receive medical assistance in dying.

It was the culmination of years of work. A committee on dying with dignity, assembled under former Quebec Premier Jean Charest, filed its massive report on the subject in March 2012.

On Friday, Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette said the Quebec government was very satisfied with the Supreme Court's ruling.

He and Parti Québécois MNA Véronique Hivon, who originally introduced the bill at the National Assembly, are expected to comment further on the bill's passage later on Friday.

However, Hivon tweeted minutes after the Supreme Court's decision was announced.

"Historic decision from the Supreme Court!" she wrote. "Quebec's debate and law showed the way."

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