NRL News

Quebec committee on assisted suicide will promote palliative care and may disguise euthanasia as medical treatment

by | Oct 26, 2011

By Alex Schadenberg

The Canadian Press (CP) has reported that the Quebec government assisted suicide committee will likely promote increases in support for palliative care and for the training of doctors, and I assume medical professionals, who are caring for the dying.

The Quebec committee is running behind schedule. The report was originally anticipated for release in November 2011 and now it is likely to be released in February 2012.

The CP press article also stated that suggestions to amend physicians’ codes of ethics will be made and that information be provided for Quebecers concerning their rights, including the right to refuse treatment.

The French report is a little different than the English version. It states that the Dying with Dignity committee is developing a “new model”.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is concerned about the suggestions to amend physicians’ codes of ethics. Euthanasia and assisted suicide is sometimes hidden within imprecise language. The prime example is the bill that is currently being debated in the South Australian parliament that reports to concern the provision of end-of-life treatment and care, but includes specific language that allows a physician to intentionally kill a patient.

The committee also wants to ensure that patient’s wishes are respected at the end of life.

The CP report stated that the Quebec government assisted suicide committee received 300 submissions and heard from 400 witnesses.

EPC also acknowledges the important work Vivre dans la Dignite who are a grassroots group in Quebec who have opposed the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide in Quebec.

Editor’s note. Alex Schadenberg is executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition. This appeared on his blog at

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