New Canada law would allow assisted suicide for seriously ill

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Canada's Liberal government on Thursday unveiled draft legislation on doctor-assisted suicide which would apply to adults suffering serious and incurable illness and where death is reasonably foreseeable.

The government, though, did not adopt suggestions from a parliamentary committee which had suggested the law should also apply to those who suffer only from mental illness, or those who put forward advance requests. The government proposed independent bodies study those issues.

The Supreme Court of Canada overturned a ban on physician-assisted suicide last year, unanimously reversing a decision it made in 1993 and putting Canada in the company of a handful of Western countries to make it legal.

In December, a Quebec court ruled the province can implement Canada's first law permitting physician-assisted suicide while the federal government decides on a framework for how to handle the issue.

(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by James Dalgleish)