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Restorative Justice, Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide, Public Policy, Reform, Canadian Approach, Alternatives


This article examines the current Canadian legal approach to euthanasia and assisted suicide, highlights some of the problems with it, and offers a novel alternative to the current traditionally criminalized prohibitive regime. The authors first describe a restorative justice approach and explain the differences between such an approach and the traditional approach currently in use. They then explain how a restorative justice approach could be implemented in the arena of assisted death, acknowledging the potential challenges in implementation. The authors conclude that taking a restorative justice approach to euthanasia and assisted suicide could enable movement in the seemingly intractable public policy debates about these issues, lead to more effective and compassionate responses to cases of euthanasia and assisted suicide, and prompt policy and practice reform that enables society to better care for individuals at the end of life.