Canada to appeal ruling on assisted suicide

July 13, 2012

(AP) — Canada's justice minister says the federal government will appeal a British Columbia Supreme Court ruling that said federal laws banning doctor-assisted suicide are unconstitutional.

A B.C. Supreme Court justice ruled last month that laws banning are invalid because they discriminate against severely ill patients. The justice suspended her ruling for one year to give Canada's federal Parliament time to draft new legislation.

Minister Rob Nicholson said Friday that the federal government will seek a suspension on the ruling while it goes to the British Columbia of Appeal.

He says the government believes Canada's existing Criminal Code ban on assisted suicide is constitutional.

It has been illegal in Canada to counsel, aid or abet a suicide, an offence carrying a maximum prison sentence of 14 years.

Explore further: Assisted suicide _ Canada revisits an old debate

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