NRL News

Québec quadriplegic man “chooses” euthanasia after suffering horrific negligent care.

by | Apr 17, 2024

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Rachel Watts reported for CBC News on April 12, 2024 that a quadriplegic man, Normand Meunier (66), “chose” to die by (MAiD) after developing a severe bedsore at a hospital in Saint-Jérôme, Québec. Meunier experienced a tragic spinal cord injury in 2022.

Sylvie Brosseau told CBC News that

Before being admitted to an intensive care bed for his third respiratory virus in three months this winter, Meunier was stuck on a stretcher in the emergency room for four days.


His partner, Sylvie Brosseau, says without having access to a special mattress, Meunier developed a major pressure sore on his buttocks that eventually worsened to the point where bone and muscle were exposed and visible — making his recovery and prognosis bleak.


“Ninety-five hours on a stretcher, unacceptable,” Brosseau told Radio-Canada in an interview.


“Every time we go to the hospital, it’s my duty to tell them that Normand is quadriplegic and needs an alternating pressure mattress … I don’t understand how this can happen, because a mattress is the most basic thing.”

Meunier’s death by euthanasia is one of many stories of people who “choose” to die after receiving negligent medical care.

Jean-Pierre Beauchemin, a retired geriatrician and professor at Université Laval’s faculty of medicine told CBC News

When you’re lying down, always in the same position, there’s hyper-pressure between the bone and the skin,”


“A pressure sore can open in less than 24 hours, and t       hen take a very long time to close.”


The buttocks, heels, elbows and knees are particularly vulnerable.


A rotation schedule every two hours is generally necessary for a person confined to bed, according to a Quebec Health Ministry reference sheet.

Steven Laperrière, the director general of the Regroupement des activistes pour l’inclusion au Québec (RAPLIQ), which supports people with disabilities told CBC News

“That whole story is a crying shame” …


“It’s really a case of disbelief … What are we doing in order to help disabled persons or sick people to live in dignity prior to dying in dignity?”


He says the health-care institution was “negligent to say the least” and that getting a proper mattress is not like “trying to get a space shuttle into orbit.”


“It’s pretty basic … Nobody will convince me that within a few hours the proper mattress could not have been found,” said Laperrière.


“To me, that’s totally a lack of professionalism,” said Laperrière, who says Meunier “would probably still be alive today” if staff had “been really professional about it.”

Trudo Lemmens, The Scholl Chair in Health Law and Policy at the University of Toronto. said that this case is “an illustration of problems in our health-care system.”

Lemmens told CBC News

“Then the system responds by saying: ‘well, you have access to medical assistance and dying,'”


“Medical assistance in dying is more easily available and on a more regular basis than some of the most basic care.”


He says he is increasingly hearing stories of people who are struggling in the system and turn to MAID.


“It’s deeply troubling”…

Watts reported that along with Brosseau, Moelle épinière et motricité Québec (MÉMO-Qc) is now demanding the Quebec government launch an independent inquest into Meunier’s death. They believe the health authority’s internal investigation is insufficient.

The disability group is seeking a meeting with Christian Dubé, Quebec’s health minister, concerning the circumstances and lack of care that people with disabilities are experiencing in Québec.

By the way, euthanasia is all about “choice”, “freedom,” and “autonomy.”

Editor’s note. This appears on Mr.Schadenberg’s blog and reposted with permission.

Categories: Assisted Suicide
Tags: MAiD Quebec