News in Quebec
News in Canada
25 February 2019 : ALZHEIMER AND EUTHANASIA : THE DEBATE WILL WAIT AT THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The MPs will have to wait for the opening of the National Assembly consulations on the extension of euthanasia for people with Alzheimer or mental disability. Health Minister Danielle McCann is awaiting a report from the Expert Panel on the issue of incapacity and euthanasia before moving forward.
Read more (in French)
8 March 2019 : MICHEL CADOTTE SENTENCING: FAMILIES SAY THEY UNDERSTAND, BUT DO NOT FORGIVE
Hanaé Désautels, one of Jocelyne Lizotte’s granddaughters, testified to the heartbreak of her family since the tragic death of her grandmother. She was accompanied by her father, David Désautels, son of Mrs. Lizotte, and her mother, Nancy Guénette, who also gave their testimony.
6 February 2019 : NEW OTTAWA PROGRAM AIMS TO HELP PEOPLE LIVE WELL AT THE END OF THEIR LIVES
Launch of the Healthy End of Life Project (HELP) in Ottawa. The three-year research project is based on a model developed in Melbourne, Australia. It aims to help communities support people to live well at the end of their lives, surrounded by family, friends and social networks. It also aims to help people talk about death and dying and to ask for and accept help when they need it.
6 March 2019 : EUTHANASIA NUMBERS ON THE RISE IN ALBERTA (+50%)
The number of euthanasia cases in Alberta has now reached 600 since the implentation of the practice according to Alberta Health Services data.
6 March 2019 : SHELTER HOUSE STAFF RECEIVE TRAINING IN PALLIATIVE APPROACHE TO CARE
A new training program in Thunder Bay will provide shelter support workers with knowledge and training on how to support homeless people dealing with life-threatening illnesses or in need of palliative services.
9 March 2019 : PALLIATIVE CARE TEAM HELPS THE HOMELESS
Around the world
BELGIUM : 1000 PEOPLE DIE EACH YEAR BY EUTHANASIA WITHOUT REQUEST
Dr. Marc Cosyns, in response to Ivo Poppe, a nurse who admitted to killing 10 – 20 people, including his mother, told the Belgian media that each year there are 1000 assisted deaths without request.
BELGIUM : 2018 REPORT : 247% INCREASE SINCE 2010
The 2018 Belgian euthanasia report, released on February 28, indicates that in 2018 there were 2357 reported assisted deaths, up from 2309. The report suggests that the number of deaths are stable. There were 954 reported assisted deaths in 2010 representing a 247% increase in 8 years.
COLOMBIA : THE OTHER COUNTRY WHERE EUTHANASIA FOR CHLIDREN IS LEGAL
The Constitutional Court declared in December 2014 that euthanasia was legal. In 2017, the Court ordered the Department of Health and Social Protection to issue regulations which would “guarantee the right to death worthy of children and adolescents”. So on March 9, 2018, the Department of Health and Social Protection issued Resolution 825 which allowed euthanasia for children over 6.
NETHERLANDS : ARE PATIENTS WITH PERSONNALITY DISORDERS WHO REQUEST EUTHANASIA BEING TREATED PROPERLY?
In a recent article in Psychological Medicine, four bioethicists and psychiatrists study the circumstances surrounding the deaths of 74 people with personality disorders who were euthanised in the Netherlands between 2011 and 2017. They conclude that using personality disorders as a reason for euthanasia has a number of troubling features.
NEW ZEALAND : ANTI-EUTHANASIA GROUP LAUNCHES DOCUMENTARY SERIES
A campaign against assisted dying is being launched in the wake of the End of Life Choice Bill. #DefendNZ is a series of documentaries featuring people with a terminal illness or disability. Creative director Henoch Kloosterboer says it is about expanding the conversation. “A lot of the conversation around the Bill has been quite idealistic and theoretical, but what we’re really needing to hear from are the people that will actually be affected by this.”
RUSSIA : RUSSIA'S PRESIDENT PUTIN SIGNS PALLIATIVE CARE BILL INTO LAW
The law specifies the concept of palliative care that involves a package of measures including medical treatment, after care and psychological actions aimed to improve the quality of terminally ill patients’ living and is oriented to the amelioration of pain. The law confirms the right of terminal patients to pain relief including drug preparations and medical devices.
UNITED KINGDOM : LEGAL CHALLENGE MADE TO A POLL ON EUTHANASIA
A legal challenge has been submitted regarding a poll by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) on its official position on assisted suicide. Four doctors have now launched a crowdfunding page to fund a legal challenge to the poll, saying a small minority within the College who do support assisted dying are trying to change the RCP’s default position in an unfair way and that: “it means that even if 59% of members vote to maintain opposition to a change in the law, the College will change to a neutral position anyway.”
USA (ARKANSAS) : PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED SUICIDE BILL FAILS BEFORE PANEL
The proposal by Republican Rep. Dan Douglas failed before the House Public Health Committee on Tuesday after it didn’t receive a motion to send the bill to the chamber floor. Douglas’ bill would have added an exception to the state’s ban on physician-assisted suicide.
USA (MARYLAND) : MARYLAND HOUSE APPROVE BILL ALLOWING ASSISTED SUICIDE
The Maryland House of Delegates on Thursday approved a measure to allow the terminally ill to end their lives with a doctor’s help.The House voted 74-66 for the bill, with 73 Democrats and one Republican voting for the measure, and 25 Democrats and 41 Republicans voting against it.
USA (NEW JERSEY) : IT'S TOO RISKY FOR NEW JERSEY TO LEGALIZE ASSISTED SUICIDE, GROUP OF DOCTORS SAY
USA (NEW MEXICO) : HOUSE QUASHES 'RIGHT-TO-DIE' BILL
“But if HB 90 had become law, a patient could ask a medical provider to prescribe drugs to end his or her own life. That medical professional would have to confirm the patient has a terminal illness and the mental capacity to request medical aid in dying.”
USA (OREGON) : 2018 ASSISTED SUICIDE REPORT : A RECORD NUMBER OF ASSISTED DEATHS
The 2018 Oregon annual assisted suicide report is similar to prior years. The report implies that the deaths were voluntary (self-administered), but the information in the report does not address that subject. There were 168 reported assisted suicide deaths up from 158 in 2017.
Read more (Statistics)
LWD in action
Feature of the month
Living With Dignity's intervention concerning the trial of Truchon-Gladu
Living With Dignity’s lawyer, Michel Racicot, was called to testified in the case of Truchon-Gladu. He believes that the two challenged sections of the law are necessary to prevent suicide and protect the vulnerables.
“Helping a person that will eventually die, relieving him of his sufferings is one thing, but helping someone who still has many years to live is another.”
Read more (in French)
Changing attitudes, improving lives
Rather than describing palliative care as an end of life intervention, doctors and families should instead consider it “an opportunity for specialist advice on managing pain and other symptoms, for help with complex decision making, and in preparing for the future.
Audio and video