12/16/2015 03:48 EST | Updated 12/16/2016 05:12 EST

Canada Assisted-Death Policy Extension Necessary, Opponents Naive, Feds Say

The Supreme Court gave the federal government a year to come up with a new law last February.

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OTTAWA — The Liberal government is telling the Supreme Court of Canada that those pushing for speedy implementation of right-to-die policies are naive about the legislative process.

In a submission to bolster its request for a six-month extension, the government says implementing a landmark decision on physician-assisted dying will require full parliamentary consideration as well as provincial legislation.

Last February, the Supreme Court struck down the prohibition on doctor-assisted death.

The court gave the federal government a year to come up with a new law recognizing the right of clearly consenting adults who are enduring intolerable physical or mental suffering to seek medical help in ending their lives.

The new Liberal government recently asked the court to extend that deadline to early August to ensure a thoughtful, sensitive and well-informed response.

In its submission to the court, the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association and individuals who spearheaded the case say an extension would be a setback for Canadians who need relief from unbearable suffering. 

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