Top court to hold hearing as it mulls extension on doctor-assisted death

OTTAWA -- An oral hearing will be held next month at the Supreme Court as it considers whether to approve the federal government's request for an extension in response to its ruling on doctor-assisted death.

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The federal government will have half an hour to make its argument on Jan. 11 and the appellants will have the same time to make their case.

Last February, the top court found Canada's criminal code provisions prohibiting doctor-assisted death to be unconstitutional.

It also suspended its decision for a year to allow for Parliament and provincial legislatures to respond, should they so choose, by ushering in legislation consistent with the constitutional parameters set out by the court.

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould has said more time should be granted to allow the government to consider all possible responses to the decision.

The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association and individuals who spearheaded the case argue an extension would be a setback for Canadians who require immediate relief from unbearable suffering.



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