Ottawa, Canada, Jun 20, 2016 / 14:52 pm
Canada's controversial assisted suicide measure had barely passed Parliament when national leaders discussed the possibility of expanding it to allow doctor-assisted death for minors and the mentally ill.
In February 2015, the Canadian Supreme Court had ruled that doctors may help patients who have severe and incurable suffering to kill themselves. It ordered Parliament to create a legislative response.
That response came in the form of a bill passed in the Canadian Senate by a vote of 44-28 June 17. Its scope is somewhat narrower than the court mandate in that it allows assisted suicide only for those facing imminent death, Reuters reports.
Health Minister Jane Philpott and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould in a joint statement said the legislation was balanced. They said there will be further study of medical assistance in dying for "mature minors" and those for whom mental illness is the only underlying condition.