The Canadian Supreme Court's decision on Friday to overturn a 1993 ban on doctor-assisted suicide gives the federal and provincial governments a year to work out details that will affect individuals hoping to bring about their own deaths in Canada, says the Washington Post. Among the questions: Will Canada choose to allow assisted suicide, euthanasia, or both? And will the country allow non-residents to take advantage of whichever they offer?
The case argued that no one can stop an able-bodied person from ending their life, so preventing a terminally ill patient from receiving the help they needed to do so should be considered a discriminatory act. The ruling states that Canadian provinces can no longer “prohibit physician-assisted death” in consenting patients with incurable (if not terminal) diseases that cause “enduring and intolerable suffering.” This actually leaves a lot of room for interpretation, and the supreme court has given officials one year to hammer out the details before the ban is lifted.