Open letter to Mme Véronique Hivon

Living with Dignity supports the freedom of palliative care professionals at the MUHC (and in any hospital) who want to preserve safe spaces for patients. Here we reproduce an open letter to Mrs Véronique Hivon to denounce her attack against the MUHC palliative care unit who refuse to euthanize their patients.

Open letter to Mme Véronique Hivon

Mme Hivon:

You label as « ideology » the decision made by the McGill University Health Centre to not euthanize patients on the palliative care ward.

“The patients at the end of life are the ones who should have their rights respected and be at the centre of the organization of care”, you say. If that is what you really believe, where were you when the number of palliative care beds at the MUHC was reduced for budgetary reasons? When the specialized geriatrics unit was closed completely? Why do you not speak out when patients are transferred all over the hospital and the city for trivial reasons, as is regularly done in Quebec?

What other than ideology could make you want to force hospitals, not only to kill patients, but to kill them in the one place where they most need to be protected?

Palliative care professionals are experts in easing the pain and suffering of terminally ill patients, accompanying them to the very end of their lives, with no need to kill them in order to do so. Now they are struggling, all over Quebec, to continue providing the same peace at the end of life in a situation where death is being promoted. Yes, promoted. This law was passed against the better judgment of those who know best how to care for the dying. Now you want to eliminate even the little safe space that is left for patients and professionals. All they ask for is one place in the hospital where there is no risk of being killed.

You got what you wanted when this law passed. Now you want to crush every tiny focus of opposition to your favourite project.

That is more than ideology. It’s intolerance, pure and simple.

We support the freedom of the palliative care professionals at the MUHC (and at every hospital) to ensure there are safe spaces for patients.

Yours truly,

  1. Catherine Ferrier MD, family physician, Montréal
  2. André Lavoie MD, hematologist – oncologist, Lévis
  3. Abraham Fuks MD, clinical immunology (retired), Montréal
  4. Yves Bacher MD, geriatrician, Montréal
  5. Sarah Lalonde MD, family and emergency physician, Montréal and Cree territories
  6. Athanasios Katsarkas MD FRCSC, oto-rhino-laryngologist, Montréal
  7. Rosaire Vaillancourt MD FRCSC, thoracic surgeon, Québec
  8. Marie Yaremko MD, family physician, Montréal
  9. David Philibert MD FRCPC, nephrologist, Québec
  10. Michel Brouillard MD, family physician, Rouyn-Noranda
  11. Errol B. Marliss MD FRCPC, Internist (Endocrinology and Metabolism) Montréal
  12. Raymond Lalande MD MA FCMF, family physician, Montréal
  13. Jean-Pierre Routy MD FRCPC, hematologist – oncologist, Montréal
  14. Magdi Sami MD, cardiologist, Montréal
  15. Albert Larbrisseau MD FRCPC, neurologist, Montréal
  16. Michel Masson MD, Pediatrician – neonatologist (retired), Québec
  17. Michel de Maupeou MD, family physician (retired), La Sarre
  18. Sherif Emil MD CM FRCSC FACS FAAP, pediatric surgeon, Montréal
  19. Sasha Bernatsky MD, rheumatologist, Montréal
  20. Christos Karatzios MD CM FRCPC, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Montréal
  21. Michel R. Morissette MD, retired physician, Lévis
  22. Nathalie de Grandpré MD, family physician, Montréal
  23. Mathieu Gazdovich MD, family physician, Montréal
  24. Svetlana Ninkovic MD, neurologist, Longueuil
  25. Nicholas Newman MD FRCSC, orthopaedic surgeon, Montréal
  26. Matthieu Tittley MD FRCPC, psychiatrist, Sherbrooke
  27. Joan Zidulka MD, hematologist – oncologist, Montréal
  28. Louis Martel MD, family physician, Trois-Rivières
  29. Sonia Calouche MD, psychiatrist, saint-Eustache
  30. Vijayabalan Balasingam MD, neurosurgeon, Pointe-Claire
  31. Pierrette Girard MD, orthopaedic surgeon, Pointe-Claire
  32. Odile Michaud MD, family medicine and home palliative care, Beloeil
  33. José A. Morais MD FRCPC, geriatrician, Montréal
  34. Juan-Francisco Asenjo MD FRCPC, Anesthesia and pain medicine, Montréal
  35. Jaques R. Rouleau MD CSPQ FRCPC FACC, cardiologist, Québec
  36. Helene Boutin MD, urologist, Rimouski
  37. Jacques Beaudoin MD, cardiologist, Québec
  38. Normand Lussier MD, general practitioner, Montréal
  39. Mathieu Brouillet MD, family physician, Rimouski
  40. Gerald van Gurp MD, family physician, Montréal
  41. Jean-Pierre Beauchef MD, endocrinologist, St-Lambert
  42. Louis Morissette MD FRCPC, psychiatrist, Montréal
  43. Marie Grenier MD, family physician (retired), Longueuil
  44. Richard Haber MD, pediatrician, Montréal
  45. Suzanne Labelle MD, family physician (retired), Laval
  46. Louis-Marie Lagacé MD, general practitioner, Sainte-Agathe des Monts
  47. Jean-Bernard Girodias MD, Emergency pediatrics, Montréal
  48. Anne Marie Uhlir MD, family physician, Sainte-Croix
  49. Wafik Andrawes MD, Internist, Sorel-Tracy
  50. Paul Barré MD, Nephrologist, Montréal
  51. André Rochon MD, general practitioner (retired), Montréal
  52. Howard Cohen MD, family physician, Kirkland
  53. Bernard H. Doray MD, pediatrician (retired), Montréal
  54. Joe Nemeth MD CCFP, Family and emergency physician, Montréal
  55. Alain Côté MD, home care physician, Laval
  56. Tommy Aumond-Beaupré MD, family physician, Montréal
  57. Michelle Bergeron MD, family physician (retired), Québec
  58. Annik Dupras MD, internist-geriatrician, Le Gardeur
  59. Simon Wing MD, endocrinologist, Montreal
  60. Antonio Vigano, MD, MSc, attending physician, Supportive and Palliative Care Service, Montreal
  61. Gilles Gaudreau MD, family physician, Sorel-Tracy
  62. Stephen Martin MD, family physician, Montreal
  63. Betty-Anne Story PhD, MD, CCFP, FCFP, family physician
  64. Tom Vanka MD, family physician, Drummonville