In a charter precedent that will go down in Canada's history books, nine judges of the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously struck down the ban on providing a doctor-assisted death to mentally competent but suffering and "irremediable" patients.
The emphatic, unanimous ruling prompted tears of joy and frustration on both sides of the debate, reverberated through provincial health ministries and doctor's offices across Canada, and left skittish federal parliamentarians groping for time to digest the implications.
"The prohibition on physician-assisted dying infringes on the right to life, liberty and security of the person in a manner that is not in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice," the nine justices flatly asserted."An individual's response to a grievous and irremediable medical condition is a matter critical to their dignity and autonomy," says the judgment.
Bravo Canada! Maybe we are an enlightened society after all.