In a split decision, B.C.’s Court of Appeal has reversed a lower court ruling that said Canada’s assisted-suicide ban violated the charter rights of gravely ill Canadians.
The B.C. Court of Appeal has upheld the federal ban on assisted suicide in a case widely believed to be headed to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Ottawa had appealed a ruling from the B.C. Supreme Court, which ruled last year that prohibiting physician-assisted suicide violated the charter rights of gravely ill Canadians.
Several plaintiffs, including ALS patient Gloria Taylor and the children of Kay Carter, who travelled to Switzerland to seek doctor-assisted suicide in 2010, launched the challenge.
The full impact of the Appeal Court decision is unclear, as observers predict the case is headed to the Supreme Court of Canada.
The country’s top court last considered the issue of assisted suicide in 1993, when a split decision upheld the current law in a case involving Sue Rodriguez.