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Sue Rodriguez took her own life with the help of a doctor after the Supreme Court upheld the Criminal Code ban on assisted death in 1993.

CHUCK STOODY/Canadian Press

1991: The Right To Die Society of Canada is founded in Victoria.

1991-2010: The House of Commons and its committees debate six private member's bills seeking to decriminalize assisted death. None passes.

1992: Sue Rodriguez, a B.C. resident diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease, begins her fight to overturn the law banning doctor-assisted death in Canada.

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1993: In the case of Ms. Rodriguez, the Supreme Court of Canada upholds by a 5-4 margin the Criminal Code ban on assisted death. The dissenters include Beverley McLachlin, who becomes chief justice in 2000. The year after the decision, Ms. Rodriguez took her own life with the help of a doctor.

1998: Maurice Généreux becomes the first doctor to be sentenced under the law banning physician-assisted death. The Quebec doctor received a jail term of two years less a day and three years' probation in 1998 after prescribing sleeping pills to two men with AIDS. They suffered from depression but were not terminally ill. One of the men survived and launched a civil suit against Dr. Généreux.

2002: The Netherlands' parliament, the House of Representatives, establishes a regulatory regime for assisted dying.

2007: Ramesh Kumar Sharm, a B.C. doctor, is given a conditional sentence of two years less a day for prescribing a lethal dose of drugs to a 93-year-old patient. His licence to practice as a physician is also revoked.

2008: A Quebec jury acquits Stéphan Dufour on a charge of assisted suicide. Mr. Dufour admitted installing a rope, chain and dog collar in a closet where his uncle, Chantal Maltais, killed himself in 2006. He was the first Canadian to stand trial by jury for assisted death.

2011: The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association files a suit challenging the Criminal Code ban on behalf of several patients.

2012: A British Columbia judge rules in favour of the civil liberties association, declaring the assisted-death ban unconstitutional.

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2013: A majority of the B.C. Court of Appeal overturns the lower-court ruling, saying the judge was bound by the Rodriguez decision.

2013: Donald Low, a Toronto microbiologist who helped ease public concern during the SARS crisis, makes a plea for assisted death in a video.

2014: Gillian Bennett, a B.C. woman with dementia, kills herself. Before her death, she wrote a blog post saying she did not want to be a burden on her family or "a vegetable in a hospital setting."

2014: Quebec adopts an assisted-death law, effective December, 2015.

2015: The Supreme Court of Canada rules unanimously that Canadians have the constitutional right to decide how they die in some circumstances because the "sanctity of life" also includes the "passage into death." Approval for physician-assisted death is given to "a competent adult person who (1) clearly consents to the termination of life and (2) has a grievous and irremediable medical condition (including an illness, disease or disability) that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual in the circumstances of his or her condition." The court gives the federal government a year to change the law.

January, 2016: The Supreme Court gives the government a four-month extension – until June 6.

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March, 2016: An 81-year-old Toronto man granted a physician-assisted death asks the federal government to act quickly on new legislation so others do not have to fight in court as he did.

With files from The Canadian Press

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