Canada moves to rule out suicide tourism

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The law excludes non-Canadians to avoid ‘suicide tourism’

An assisted suicide bill put before Canada’s Parliament excludes foreigners from travelling to the country to die.

People with mental illness and psychiatric disorders are also excluded and no advance consent is allowed.

Last year, the Canadian Supreme Court struck down a law banning doctors from helping someone die last year.

This bill, which is backed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, must now be studied by committee and then voted on by both House and Senate.

It seeks to protect “the conscience rights of medical practitioners”, said Canadian Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould.

She did not mention why foreigners would be excluded from the new legislation.

Cases brought on by the families of two deceased British Columbia women spurred last year’s decision by the court to strike down the law.

The court said outlawing assisted suicide deprives people of dignity and autonomy. Prior to that, counselling, aiding or abetting suicide was illegal in Canada.

The Liberal government had four months to come up with a new law, a time period that was extended.

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Last year Quebec’s top court ruled that the province can allow terminally ill patients the right to die with medical help.

Currently, assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland, Germany, Albania, Colombia, Japan and in US states Washington, California , Oregon, Vermont, New Mexico and Montana.

What different countries say about assisted dying

More US states introduced aid-dying legislation last year, but only California’s became law.

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