Jacob Sullum on the Curiously Circumscribed Suicide Right Recognized by Canada's Supreme Court


British Columbia Civil Liberties Association

According to the U.S. Supreme Court, people do not have a fundamental right to kill themselves. The Supreme Court of Canada used to agree, but last week it changed its mind.

Both courts still agree on one thing, however: The government has the authority to determine when and how you may take your life. Jacob Sullum says the curiously circumscribed nature of the right recognized by the Canadian Supreme Court reflects a willingness to surrender our most basic liberty—to be or not to be—in exchange for an official stamp of approval that free people should not need.