The right to die

A report from the Royal Society of Canada recommends changing current laws to allow physician-assisted suicide.

“We are recommending that the Criminal Code be changed in such a way as to permit physician-assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia,” said Udo Schuklenk, a bioethicist from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., who chaired the six-person panel that completed Tuesday’s report. Schuklenk said the basis for the recommendation was centred on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The executive summary is here. The full report is here.

A private member’s bill—proposed by former Bloc MP Francine Lalonde—that would have amended the Criminal Code to allow for euthanasia was defeated in April 2010 by a count of 230-57.