Science and Tech


Canada's Supreme Court Strikes Down Assisted-Suicide Ban

Canada's Supreme Court unanimously struck down a ban on physician-assisted suicide Friday.
Posted at 4:41 PM, Feb 06, 2015

Canada's Supreme Court struck down a ban on physician-assisted suicide Friday.

Adults who are mentally sound and have a "grievous and irremediable illness" can now choose to end their lives. They don't necessarily have to be terminally ill. (Video via CTV)

The Supreme Court's decision won't take effect for a year. That way, Canada's parliament has enough time to make laws to regulate physician-assisted suicide. (Video via CPAC)

Canada's decision comes at a time when medically assisted death is becoming a subject of national dialogue in the U.S.

Brittany Maynard's decision to go public about ending her life sparked a national debate in November. The 29-year-old moved to Oregon to end her life after finding out she had terminal brain cancer. (Video via Compassion and Choices)

"I was diagnosed with cancer and told I was terminally ill," said Maynard.

The U.S. currently has five states that allow physician-assisted suicide. Since Maynard's death, six states and Washington, D.C., have introduced right-to-die legislation.

Before Maynard went public with her story, a Gallup Poll found that almost 70 percent of Americans believe physicians should be able to legally and painlessly end a patient's life.