After saying no in 1993, the Supreme Court of Canada was unanimous in saying yes a few days ago.
"People with grievous and irremediable medical conditions should have the right to ask a doctor to help them die, Canada's highest court says in a unanimous ruling.
The Supreme Court of Canada says a law that makes it illegal for anyone to help people end their own lives should be amended to allow doctors to help in specific situations.
The ruling only applies to competent adults with enduring, intolerable suffering who clearly consent to ending their lives.
The court has given federal and provincial governments 12 months to craft legislation to respond to the ruling; the ban on doctor-assisted suicide stands until then. If the government doesn't write a new law, the court's exemption for physicians will stand.
Asked about a woman with a physical disability who said she now feels pressure to end her life, Carter said she was sorry to hear that because the woman "has so much to live for."
"I want everybody in this country to live the life as they want to. But for those that ... don't want to continue, that have an incurable illness, [I'm glad] that they have a choice."
"Conservative MP Steven Fletcher, who became a quadriplegic after an accident in 1996, was at the court to react early to Friday's decision.
He has already introduced a private member's bill — which was also introduced in the Senate before Christmas — to make physician-assisted death legal under Canadian laws.
"That bill could be used as a foundation for parliamentarians going forward," he told reporters, although it's not scheduled to come up for debate any time soon and he concedes "those decisions are made at a higher pay grade than mine."
"I guess it depends ... if people want this to be an election issue or not," he said. "If it went to a free vote in Parliament, it would pass."
"There does need to be some Criminal Code provision, I think, to prevent abuse," he says. "I don't want people, because they have a bad hair day, to get their car mechanic to take them down."
"The vast majority of Canadians — 84 per cent — support physician-assisted death with appropriate caveats."
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