An assisted suicide bill has been put before Canada's Parliament that legalizes euthanasia but will exclude foreigners from coming to die. People with mental illness and psychiatric disorders are excluded too.
Last year, the Canadian Supreme Court struck down a law banning doctors from helping someone die. This bill, which is backed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, must now be studied by committee and then voted on by both House and Senate.
It seeks to protect "the conscience rights of medical practitioners", said Canadian Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould.
Asked why foreigners would be excluded from the new legislation, she refused to answer.
"We have considered this question only in the context of Canada and Canadian citizens," she said at a press conference. They hope to pass and establish the bill before dealing with doctors concerns, ethical questions that may not have been covered and extending compassion to others. They can fine tune it on an ongoing basis when they see what works and what doesn't.
Cases brought on by the families of two deceased British Columbia women spurred last year's decision by the court to strike down the law which denied people the right to choose to die. The court said outlawing assisted suicide deprives people of dignity and autonomy. Prior to that, counseling, aiding or abetting suicide was illegal in Canada.
The Liberal government had four months to come up with a new law, a time period that was extended. Only a few countries, at the moment, allow assisted suicide: Canada, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Germany, Japan and a couple of states in the United States.
Among the people, whose opinion I asked, nine out of ten approved the bill and one was unsure of how it would conflict with her religious beliefs, but in principle she approved. I wonder what the consensus would be with a larger survey.