Canada's new assisted suicide law will apply only to Canadians and permanent residents, meaning Americans won't be able to travel to Canada to die. A senior government official tells the AP that visitors will be excluded under the new law to be announced Thursday, precluding the prospect of suicide tourism. To take advantage of the law, a person would have to be eligible for health services in Canada. The law also excludes the mentally ill and does not permit advance requests to end one's life in the future.
Canada isn't alone: Assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland, Germany, Albania, Colombia, Japan, and the US states of Washington, Oregon, Vermont, New Mexico, and Montana. California lawmakers also passed legislation, expected to take effect later this year, which would allow terminally ill patients to legally end their lives. The Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg allow doctors, under strict conditions, to euthanize patients whose medical conditions have been judged hopeless and who are in great pain. (Read more assisted suicide stories.)