Massive increase in medically assisted deaths in Québec
The two reports released this week should lead us to halt
all planned MAiD expansions
The Living with Dignity citizen network has reviewed the 2022-2023 annual report from the Commission on end-of-life care (that was tabled yesterday at the National Assembly of Québec) and the 4th annual report on medical assistance in dying in Canada (MAiD), published on Tuesday. The findings are identical: a massive increase in the administration of MAiD, which, as it seems evident, is not an exceptional intervention in the country. In this context, both Québec and Canada should halt all planned MAiD expansions.
The report from the Commission on end-of-life care
(La Commission sur les soins de fin de vie) 2022-2023
Read it here in French (along with presentations of various cases studies of MAiD – “Vignettes”)
5,221 Québec residents received medical assistance in dying between April 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023, representing a 42% increase, which accounts for 6.8% of deaths. Unfortunately, this places Québec at the top position, globally, in this category.
The 23 cases of non-compliance with the law documented in the report should be of concern. Every instance of non-compliance is one too many, and the Québec College of Physicians (Collège des médecins du Québec, CMQ) has not yet sanctioned any of its members regarding non-compliance in the administration of medical assistance in dying since 2015.
– We are pleased that Ms. Sonia Bélanger, the Minister responsible for health and seniors, has expressed her expectation yesterday that “the CMQ will carry out the necessary follow-up with physicians and take action as needed” and that she “intends to mandate a research team to examine the situation and obtain a detailed scientific opinion on the significant increase in medical assistance in dying in Québec.”
We commend the work of the Commission on end-of-life care, which provides the best overview of the evolution of medical assistance in dying in the country. Their intention to make the number of medically assisted deaths in Québec, available in real-time on their website is a positive development.
The annual report on medical assistance in dying in Canada 2022
Read it here:
According to this Federal report, 4,801 Québec residents received MAiD in 2022, representing a 46% increase compared to 2021.
The highest percentages of deaths attributable to medical assistance in dying in Canada are as follows:
1st place – Québec: 6.6%
2nd place – British Columbia: 5.5%
3rd place – Ontario: 3.2%
Reminder: Canadian MPs have supported a motion to re-appointthe Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying (AMAD). This committee must submit its report no later than January 31, 2024. According to Recommendation 13 from the previous MAiD committee’s last report, its mission will be to “to verify the degree of preparedness attained for a safe and adequate application of MAiD (in cases where mental disorder is the sole medical condition).”
In its October 20th press release, Living with Dignity specifically addressed the strong transpartisan opposition to medical assistance in dying for mental disorders and the fact that Québec must stand firm in rejecting this controversial expansion.
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Living with Dignity citizen network