New court challenge in Canadian euthanasia debate

Jan 17, 2014 | News

By Paolo Serpe

The Supreme Court of Canada is set to reignite the argument on euthanasia after agreeing to review the country’s assisted suicide laws. The motion was rejected more than two decades ago, in 1993.

Thursday, the high court announced it will hear an appeal in a case that briefly overturned the ban, offering a British Columbia woman a constitutional exemption to get help to end her life, Canadian Press reported. The current case deals with 89-year-old B.C. resident Kay Carter, who went to Switzerland to January 2010 to end her life. Joining the case is Elayne Shapray, who suffers from multiple sclerosis and wishes to end her own life.

Taking a look at assisted suicide laws around the world, only and handful of jurisdictions permit assisted suicide. There are currently four U.S states allowing the controversial decision, including Washington, Vermont, Montana and Oregon. New Mexico is close to becoming the fifth, after a court ruling earlier this month.
In Europe, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland allow their citizens the right to choose to end their own lives.