Canada’s Supreme Court has ruled that doctors may help patients who have severe and incurable medical conditions to die, overturning a 1993 ban.
In a unanimous decision, the court said the law impinged on Canadians’ rights.
The case was brought by a civil rights group on behalf of two women, Kay Carter and Gloria Taylor, with degenerative diseases. Both have since died.
The government now has a year to rewrite its law on assisted suicide.
If it does not, the current law will be struck down.
Assisted suicide is legal in several European countries and a few US states.
In Canada is it illegal to counsel, aid or abet a suicide, and the offence carries up to 14 years in prison.
“This is one incredible day,” said Grace Pastine of British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, which brought the case.