Documents to download

Following the Canadian Supreme Court’s decision in Carter v Canada (Attorney General) in 2015, which declared that sections of the Canadian Criminal Code were in violation of an individual’s rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, change to the Criminal Code exempts certain medical practitioners and individuals from culpable homicide, therefore allowing both voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide, subject to a number of conditions. ‘Assisted dying’ or ‘assisted suicide’ is unlawful in the majority of US states, save for Oregon, Washington, Vermont, California and Colorado, allow adult residents of their state, who are capable of voluntarily making decisions about their health, and are terminally ill with a prognosis of six months, to seek lethal medication for self-administration. Montana provides a defence for physicians on the event they face homicide changes. 

Section 2 of the Suicide Act 1961 (as amended by the Coroners and Justice Act 2009) in England and Wales makes it criminally unlawful for an individual to perform an act capable of encouraging or assisting the suicide or attempted suicide of another person, where that individual’s act was intended to encourage, assist or attempt at suicide. There have been a number of challenges to the Suicide Act 1961. In 2014, the Supreme Court considered the state of the law in the context of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which ultimately deferred the matter to Parliament for consideration. Thus far, there have been attempted amendments and several private member’s bills in parliament that have been unsuccessful in changing the law.


Documents to download

Related posts

  • Health and Care Bill

    The Health and Care Bill is scheduled for second reading in the House of Lords on 7 December 2021. This Lords Library briefing focuses on how the bill changed as it went through the House of Commons, and remaining areas that opposition parties and other stakeholders would like to see addressed in the House of Lords.

    Health and Care Bill
  • Financial fraud and vulnerable people

    On 2 December 2021, the House of Lords is scheduled to hold a short debate on a motion tabled by Lord Sharkey (Liberal Democrat). He will ask the Government what steps it is taking to protect vulnerable people from financial fraud. This article provides information about the various types of fraud committed and the scale of the problem; which groups are more vulnerable to fraud; and what is being done to tackle the crime.

    Financial fraud and vulnerable people