Quebec Court of Appeal to rule on assisted-dying law

MONTREAL - Quebec's top court will release its ruling today on a government appeal of a challenge against certain provisions of its assisted-dying law.

See Full Article

The legislation, which outlines how terminally ill patients can end their lives with medical help, was adopted by members of the national assembly in June 2014 and became law Dec. 10.

A Quebec Superior Court justice ruled in favour last month of a group of doctors who were seeking to postpone implementation of the law until at least February.

That judgment concluded certain provisions in the law run afoul of the Criminal Code, which prohibits assisted suicide.

Quebec appealed the ruling, paving the way for today's decision.

Federal government lawyers sided with Quebec at last week's appeal hearing, reversing the position they'd defended under the Harper government.

Those in favour of the temporary blocking of the end-of-life legislation argue that medically assisted death remains a criminal act until the federal government changes those provisions deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

They also tried to argue that medical help in dying infringes on the right to life enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Quebec is the first province to pass such a law, arguing it is an extension of end-of-life care and thus a health issue, which falls under provincial jurisdiction.

Last February, the Supreme Court struck down the prohibition on doctor-assisted death and gave Ottawa a year to craft a new law.

The Liberal government is seeking a six-month extension on the court's deadline which, if granted, would give it until August to come up with a new law.

The Supreme Court will hold an oral hearing on Jan. 11 as it considers whether to green-light Ottawa's request for the extension.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • 'Extreme' winter weather hits Canada

    Canada News CTV News
    An “intense winter storm” could slam parts of Quebec and Atlantic Canada this weekend, bringing with it “major” snowfall of 30 cm or higher, according to Environment Canada. “While it is difficult to give details this far in advance, all indications show a major snowfall event (for the Maritimes),” the department website reads. Source
  • Canadian kidnapped in Burkina Faso found dead

    Canada News CBC News
    A Canadian kidnapped in Burkina Faso has been found dead, says his family, two days after he was abducted. Kirk Woodman, originally from Halifax, was abducted Tuesday night by a dozen gunmen at a mining site owned by Vancouver-based Progress Minerals near the border with Niger, in an area the government says is under growing threat from armed jihadists. Source
  • Canadian kidnapped in Burkina Faso is dead

    Canada News CTV News
    CTV News has confirmed that a Canadian kidnapped in Burkina Faso has been found dead. Kirk Woodman was working for Vancouver-based Progress Mineral Mining Company. A spokesperson for Burkina Faso's security ministry said Woodman was abducted during a raid of a local mining site in the northern party of the country. Source
  • Defence to question forensics officer at Dennis Oland murder trial

    Canada News CTV News
    SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- A forensics officer is back on the stand today at the Dennis Oland murder trial, this time facing defence questions. Sgt. Mark Smith of Saint John police has recounted for the court the collection of over 500 pieces of evidence from the scene where multi-millionaire Richard Oland was bludgeoned to death, and from searches relating to his son Dennis. Source
  • Defence chief admits slower-than-expected growth in female representation

    Canada News CBC News
    Canada's top military officer admits there has been slower progress than expected to get more women into the Canadian Forces. New figures show there has been only a small increase in the number of women in the military over the last two years, but Gen. Source
  • Eskasoni grieving after multiple 'expected and unexpected' deaths

    Canada News CBC News
    Nova Scotia's largest Mi'kmaw community is grieving after what the band council calls multiple "expected and unexpected" deaths. The Eskasoni First Nation council said in a statement yesterday the community in eastern Cape Breton is going through a difficult time. Source
  • Global pushback against autocrats grows, says rights watchdog

    World News CBC News
    The world is seeing growing resistance against the abuses of autocrats as states, civic groups and popular movements all push back against populists seeking to curtail freedoms, according to a new global report released Thursday that also outlines where Canada is both advancing and falling short in its efforts. Source
  • New Hampshire toddler escapes home, found dead in freezing temperatures

    World News CTV News
    NEWPORT, N.H. -- A New Hampshire toddler, barefoot and clad only in a nightgown, was found dead early Monday in bitter cold weather just feet from her front door after she managed to get out of her house and couldn't get back in. Source
  • 3 young children die after getting trapped in chest freezer

    World News CTV News
    LIVE OAK, Fla. - Authorities in Florida say three young children playing outside climbed into an unplugged chest freezer and died when they couldn't get out. The Suwannee County Sheriff's Office says the children, ages 1, 4, and 6, couldn't be revived when they were found Sunday at a home in Live Oak in north Florida. Source
  • Kenya still hunts for explosives after deadly hotel attack

    World News CTV News
    NAIROBI, Kenya -- Kenyan bomb disposal experts on Thursday searched for explosives left over from the deadly extremist attack on a Nairobi luxury hotel complex in which 21 people, plus five attackers, were killed. The Kenyan government said its quick reaction to Tuesday's assault on the DusitD2 complex reflected improvements in its ability to respond to such brazen assaults on civilian targets. Source