Canada’s Liberal government to allow free vote on euthanasia: report

TORONTO Canada’s Liberal government will allow its members of parliament to vote for or against the physician-assisted suicide bill it will introduce on Thursday rather than require them to back it, the Globe and Mail reported on Wednesday.

The report cited an official with the prime minister’s office, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The article said the bill will take a narrow approach to the issue of physician-assisted suicide, excluding those who only experience mental suffering. It will also not allow for so-called “mature minors” or for advance consent – a request to end one’s life in the future.

The Supreme Court of Canada overturned a ban on physician-assisted suicide last year, unanimously reversing a decision it made in 1993 and putting Canada in the company of a handful of Western countries to make it legal.

In December, a Quebec court ruled the province can implement Canada’s first law permitting physician-assisted suicide while the federal government decides on a framework for how to handle the issue.

(Reporting by Jeffrey Hodgson; Editing by Andrew Hay)

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