Quebec bill expands death assistance to include prior consent

Quebec’s minister for health and aging, Sonia Beranger, said on Thursday that people diagnosed with serious illnesses such as Alzheimer’s should give prior consent to medical assistance that kills them before they become incapacitated (MAID). I submitted Bill 11 to make it possible.

Quebec’s Commission on End-of-Life Care, Michel Bouraud, said Quebec now has the highest number of MAID deaths per capita of any place in the world. Said at a press conference last year. His MAID is responsible for just over 5% of all deaths in the state.

MAID use has increased exponentially since Quebec passed its own law in 2016 (apart from the federal law passed around the same time). Data from Health CanadaIn 2021, Quebec’s MAID use increased by 44% year-on-year, compared to about 32% nationally.

A total of 9,741 Quebecers have died from MAID since 2016. In 2016, he had 494 deaths in his MAID in the state. In 2021 he was 3,281.

Quebec law currently requires informed consent for MAID, which is not possible in advanced stages of the degenerative disease.

“I am a nurse by profession and have always been guided by a desire to provide the best possible care, with a lot of empathy and respect,” Beranger told reporters on Thursday. It’s just sympathy and respect.”

She said the proposed legislation was based on expert opinion and citizen opinion, but the state should “have our reflections, along with the various groups that come to present their positions.” There is an opportunity to continue,” he said.

Both Quebec and Canada are considering how far to expand MAID in the coming months and years.

Nationwide, MAID is available to mentally capable adults with serious physical illnesses who are experiencing “unbearable physical or mental distress” who are in a “severe state of irreversible decline.” can. The eligibility will be expanded in March to patients suffering from mental illness and not necessarily having other conditions.

Medical College of Quebec on MAID for Minors

Dr. Luis Roy of the Medical College of Quebec told a Congressional Joint Committee on MAID in October that babies born with “severe malformations and very serious syndromes with virtually zero chance of survival” He said MAID should be considered.

“[The deformities] It would cause such pain that a decision would have to be made not to allow the child to suffer,” he said. rice field.

MP Garnett Genuis said in a video posted on YouTube, “Killing a child is always wrong, regardless of the circumstances.”

“Disability does not justify killing children. There is never any reason to justify killing children,” said Genuis.

Opponents of MAID this week expressed similar views in response to a report submitted on February 15 by the parliamentary committee on MAID.The report said the government should establish requirements that parents or guardians of mature minors should be “consulted” in MAID [take] Priority. “

It also suggests experience with government investigations of minors on MAID, including “children with terminal illness, minors with disabilities, minors in child welfare schemes, and minors of indigenous peoples.” I’m here.

Inclusion Canada, an organization that advocates for people with disabilities, called it a “discriminatory disaster.”

MP Michael Cooper, who filed the Conservative Party’s opposition report, called the committee’s recommendations “reckless”.

Peter Wilson and Marnie Cathcart contributed to this report.