Montreal

Quebec Superior Court grants 5-month extension for Ottawa to revise medically assisted dying law

It's the second extension granted by the Quebec court since it found parts of both the federal and provincial legislation unconstitutional last September.

Court ruled parts of federal and provincial laws were unconstitutional

Nicole Gladu is one of the plaintiffs who challenged Canada and Quebec's laws on medically assisted dying. (Jessica Rubinger/CBC)

Quebec Superior Court has granted the federal government a five-month extension to revise its legislation on medical assistance in dying, giving Ottawa until just before Christmas to comply with a provincial court ruling.

It's the second extension granted by the Quebec court since it found parts of both the federal and provincial legislation unconstitutional last September.

That ruling struck down a provision that allows only individuals whose natural deaths are "reasonably foreseeable" to be eligible to end their lives with a doctor's help.

In a written decision released Monday, Justice Frederic Bachand wrote that Ottawa will have until Dec. 18 to make the necessary changes — allowing a delay requested by federal lawyers last week due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Quebec government simply allowed the problematic provision to drop in March.

A bill revising the federal law was still at the initial stage of the legislative process when the House of Commons adjourned due to the pandemic in mid-March.

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