Homicide based on compassionate or altruistic motives.
“We have that rare act of homicide that was committed for caring and altruistic reasons. That is why, for want of a better term, this is called compassionate homicide.
—Margaret Somerville, quoted in David Roberts, “Latimer sentence sanctions euthanasia, ethicist says,“ The Globe and Mail, December 3, 1997
The seven senators were divided on key issues. Four of them, three Conservatives and a Liberal, said laws on assisted suicide should not be changed. Three of them, two Liberals and a Tory, wanted protection under the Criminal Code for those who assist in suicide.
On voluntary euthanasia, the senators split 5-2.
But they were unanimous that a third-degree murder category should be established for “compassionate homicide“ that would carry a less severe penalty.
—Tim Harper, “Senate rejects euthanasia,“ The Toronto Star, June 7, 1995
Or rather, everything: the minister read “a checklist of options“ to the Senate Special Committee on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, options that ran from leaving the law unchanged to decriminalizing assisted suicide to allowing “compassionate homicide“ as a limited defence in murder cases.
—Paul Wells, “Rock leaves his options open on euthanasia,“ The Gazette, December 15, 1994