Living with Dignity’s reaction to the Bloc Québécois Bill and a Coalition’s approach

The boundary of incapacity: one that must not be crossed

Montreal, May 23, 2024 –  The Bloc Québécois announced today that it will table a Federal Bill that “would allow advance requests for medical assistance in dying (MAiD) for people suffering from neurodegenerative disorders such as Dementia. »

This was presented during a Press Conference in Ottawa, in collaboration of a Coalition made up of the Quebec Association for the Right to Die with Dignity (Association Québécoise pour le droit de mourir dans la dignité, AQDMD), the Quebec Bar (Barreau du Québec), the Chambre des notaires du Quebec (CNQ), the College of Physicians of Quebec (CMQ), the Order of Nurses of Quebec (OIIQ), the Order of Pharmacists of Quebec (OPQ) as well as the Order of Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapists of Quebec (OTSTCFQ)  (see their press release in French) + Dying with Dignity Canada.

Given the tone of the Press Conference, which was very critical of the Liberal government, this maneuver has little chance of finding an attentive ear.

A thorough review is required before expanding access to medical assistance in dying by advance request. Crossing the boundary of incapacity and contemporaneous consent to administer MAiD would have serious and unprecedented consequences.

Here is an excerpt from the Brief from Living with Dignity presented last year during the examination (in Quebec) of Bill 11, An Act to amend the Act respecting end-of-life care and other legislative provisions:

The limits of advanced and substituted consent, the numerous practical issues concerning the administration of MAiD, the possible conflicts of interest (numerous cases of abuse and neglect of elderly individuals) and the major impacts of this new access on a network of already fragile geriatric care, strongly questions the merits of this expansion which we also consider to be marked by ableism.

It is important to remember that the opponents of this expansion were not invited to testify in a parliamentary committee last year at the National Assembly of Quebec.

Webinar by Professor Theo Boer and contributions at the International Meeting on the end of life now available in print.

To reflect on the issue of advance directives, the citizen network Living with Dignity invites interested people to follow a webinar organized by Doctors Say No International. At 4 p.m. (Montreal time), Friday, May 24, Professor Theo Boer, Professor of Health Ethics (PThUniversiteit Groningen, Netherlands) will present (in English) during this webinar on Assisted dying and its impact on culture: 40 years of Dutch experience with euthanasia.

Zoom link (password: 089934).

Holland is the only country in the world that allows the death of a person by advanced request when they are Incapable of decision-making and conscious (Belgium only allows it when a person is Incapable and unconscious). Professor Boer’s contributions in French during the International Meeting on the End-of-Life are now also available in print (in French), as are those of all the speakers at this gathering held in Paris on February 28, 2024.



Jasmin Lemieux-Lefebvre
Living with Dignity citizen network