Top court says Canadians have right to die, strikes down ban

February 6, 2015 6:03 PM

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

The top court said mentally competent, consenting adults who have intolerable physical or psychological suffering from a severe and incurable medical condition have the right to a doctor's help to die. The illness does not have to be terminal. The decision takes effect in 12 months.

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