OTTAWA -- Jody Wilson-Raybould says the government's proposed new law on assisted dying does not need to comply with the Supreme Court's landmark ruling on the issue.

A background paper sent by the justice minister to all senators argues that the constitutionality of Bill C-14 will not be determined by a simple comparison with the top court's Carter decision, which struck down the blanket ban on medical assistance in dying.

Rather, the paper argues it will involve an assessment of the bill and the "new and distinct purposes" behind the government's decision to restrict the right to an assisted death to those who are near death.

Whereas the blanket ban on assisted dying had only one purpose -- to protect the vulnerable who might be induced in moments of weakness to end their lives -- the paper says the proposed new law is aimed at pursuing additional objectives: to ward against the "normalization" of suicide and to counter negative perceptions of the quality of life of the elderly, ill or disabled.

Consequently, the paper maintains that limiting assisted dying to those who are near death is "fully consistent" with the charter of rights, even if it is much more restrictive than the eligibility criteria set out by the Supreme Court in Carter.

The Supreme Court directed that medical assistance in dying should be available to clearly consenting, competent adults with "grievous and irremediable" medical conditions that are causing enduring suffering that they find intolerable.