Quebec’s Euthanasia Practices Facing Close Examination

A significant number of ineligible patients had their lives prematurely ended by government physicians in Quebec. This alarming information comes from the Commission on End-of-Life Care, which monitors the practice of state-administered euthanasia in the Canadian province.

Between Spring 2021 and Spring 2022, out of 3,663 state-facilitated suicides, at least 15 were reportedly not in accordance with the law.

In six of these cases, patients did not meet the criteria for lethal injection, while in three others, those euthanized were unable to give consent.

The actual number of unlawful euthanasia deaths could be much higher, given the self-reporting system that allows doctors to potentially cover up controversial cases.

The Canadian Supreme Court unanimously decided in 2015 to permit doctors to assist in ending their patients’ lives.

The federal government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau further legalized this practice nationwide in June 2016 through the Medical Assistance in Dying Act (MAiD).

Initially, the law required patients seeking state-facilitated death to be at least 18 years old, suffering from a grievous and irremediable medical condition causing intolerable physical or psychological suffering, and in an advanced state of irreversible decline.

However, the rules have been progressively relaxed. A Quebec Superior Court judge ruled in 2019 that people who were suffering but not dying also had a constitutional right to euthanasia.

This led to the inclusion of individuals with PTSD, depression, anxiety, and other survivable conditions.

In June, Quebec passed a new law allowing people with serious and incurable diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, to apply for euthanasia years in advance. The legislation also extended access to euthanasia to people with significant and persistent disabilities who were otherwise healthy.

This liberal approach to euthanasia has raised serious concerns. Last year, nearly 5,000 cases of doctor-assisted suicides were reported in Quebec, earning it the dubious title of the world’s “euthanasia capital.”

By the end of the year, an estimated 7% of all deaths in Quebec are expected to result from doctor-assisted suicides. This rate is significantly higher than in Switzerland, Belgium, and the rest of Canada.

In response to these revelations, the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition has questioned why none of the doctors involved in these unlawful euthanasia deaths have been sanctioned.

The Quebec College of Physicians, however, has indicated that none of the 15 cases referenced by the commission have been referred to its internal disciplinary board.

These findings underscore the need for greater scrutiny and regulation of euthanasia practices in Quebec. The commission has issued reminders to doctors about the critical importance of adhering to the guidelines for MAiD.

However, it remains to be seen whether these reminders will be enough to prevent further instances of non-compliant euthanasia.

This article appeared in The Patriot Brief and has been published here with permission.

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Written by Western Reader

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