ONTARIO, Ontario, June 18 (UPI) -- Canada has adopted a law allowing medically assisted suicide for terminally ill people.
The Senate approved the legislation 44-28 Friday after it earlier was passed by the House of Commons. Then it received the formality of royal assent from the governor-general.
Some senators sought a law broader than those suffering from an "incurable'' disease or disability "in an advanced stage of irreversible decline," and should have included degenerative conditions, such as multiple sclerosis. But they gave in to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government.
In a statement, Canada's Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and Health Minister Jane Philpott said the bill struck "the right balance between personal autonomy for those seeking access to medically assisted dying and protecting the vulnerable."
Trudeau said the law is needed to give doctors and hospitals clarity in dealing with terminally ill patients.
The new law has been criticized for being too restrictive than the Supreme Court ruling.
"The government's bill will trap patients in intolerable suffering and takes away their hard-won charter right to choose assistance in dying," Josh Paterson, executive director the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, told Canadian Press.
The Canada's court's decision included adults suffering from intolerable physical or psychological pain and untreatable medical condition. The Supreme Court had ruled that existing laws against physician-assisted dying was no longer valid by June 6.
The deadline passed, but the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association had said critically ill Canadians would access to physician-assisted dying and would no longer need to seek a court exemption.
Assisted suicide is currently legal in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Albania, Colombia and Japan. In the United States, it's allowed legally in Washington, California, Oregon, Vermont, New Mexico and Montana.