You will find here all the information you need to better understand the issues surrounding assisted suicide and euthanasia in the Province of Quebec.
A Saguenay man who told police his wife of 65 years, who has dementia, asked him in a moment of lucidity to help her die could now face charges of inciting suicide. Dying with Dignity CEO Shanaaz Gokool said the case further demonstrates why Quebec and Canada’s laws governing medical aid in dying need to be amended to allow patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia to provide advanced consent.
9 December 2018 EUTHANSIA DEATHS IN QUEBEC RISING RAPIDLY
Quebec’s euthanasia law came into effect three years ago, in December 2015. Since then, 1,664 Québécois have been euthanised, according to a report tabled in the Quebec parliament. A total of 845 persons were euthanised in the 9 months from July 2017 to March 2018, compared to 638 for the 12 months from July 2016 to June 2017.
The Quebec College of Physicians says information required by Health Canada could increase doctors’ burden and reveal patients’ identities.
Véronique Hivon says she has sympathy for the family of a man who was initially denied medical aid in dying — but if her party is elected, the law will stand. CBC News first had the story of Bob Blackwood, an Eastern Townships man who was at first denied assisted suicide because one doctor said he was not close enough to a natural death.
17 September 2018 CAQ PLEDGES $5 MILLION FOR ALZHEIMER’S RESEARCH
Coalition Avenir Québec says it will increase provincial funding into Alzheimer’s research by $5 million a year if elected, and host public consultations on advanced consent for medically assisted deaths for those suffering from Alzheimer’s and related diseases.
The survey conducted by researchers at Université de Sherbrooke and institutions in Belgium and the Netherlands and published in the Canadian Journal of Public Health, was based on responses from 136 French-speaking physicians in Quebec involved in end-of-life decisions. Physicians favoured continuous deep sedation over euthanasia for relieving suffering if patients were in an advanced stage of cancer. For cases of advanced dementia, 45% of physicians supported euthanasia with a written request and 14% without one. At the terminal stage of dementia, these proportions increased to 71% and 43%.
Health Minister Gaétan Barrette denied on Tuesday that some patients in the province are opting for medical assistance in dying because they don’t have access to palliative care.Statement comes after physicians claimed that financially-strapped health network is forcing some patients to accept assisted dying.
The Montreal Palliative Care Institute – an institute dedicated to palliative care – is opened.
25 April 2018 RISE OF ASSISTED SUICIDE IN ESTRIE
The number of patients who requested assisted suicide jumped by 100% in Estrie.
29 March 2018 ORGAN DONATIONS TO EUTHANIZED PATIENTS
Transplant Quebec wants to offer organ donation to patients requesting euthanasia.
14 February 2018 PALLIATIVE CARE EXAMINATED
The Commission on End-of-Life Care will call on all institutions in the health network to draw up an accurate report on access to palliative care in Quebec.
12 February 2018 INCREASE IN REQUESTS FOR ASSISTED SUICIDE
The number of Quebecers who received assisted suicide has jumped by 65% between 2016 and 2017 and by more than 30% in the last six months of 2017.
1 February 2018 60 REQUESTS SINCE JUNE 2016
In the region Bas-Saint-Laurent, no fewer than 60 people have used the “Medical Aid in Dying” Act since it came into force in June 2016.
25 January 2018 ASSISTED SUICIDE ALMOST DOUBLED IN OUTAOUAIS
The number of cases of assisted suicide continue to rise. It almost double in Outaouais in 2017, giving death to 29 people.
25 January 2018 MORE REQUESTS IN SAGUENAY-LAC-SAINT-JEAN
During the last 6 months 17 end-of-life patients asked for euthanasia.
19 January 2018 PALLIATIVE CARE IN CHSLD: LACK OF ACCESS
The Commission on End-of-Life Care says it shares concerns about a lack of effort and resources to make quality palliative care accessible in all CHSLDs.
9 January 2018 FIGHT FOR ACCESS TO ASSISTED SUICIDE
Two patients who were refused assisted suicide continue their battle to remove the “end of life” and “reasonably foreseeable natural death” criteria from the Canadian and Quebec laws.
8 January 2018 DOCTORS REFUSE TO KILL PATIENTS AT HIGER RATE THAN EXPECTED
Two studies published last fall by Quebec researchers show the important implications regarding conscience rights for health care providers.
14 December 2017 A LOT OF DOCTORS REFUSE TO ADMINISTER DEATH
According to a study published by the CISSS of Laval, 77% of physicians who received a request from a patient for assisted suicide refused to participate in the process citing conscientious objection.
14 December 2017 INCREASE OF ASSISTED SUICIDE IN ESTRIE
According to preliminary data submitted to the CIUSSS Board of Directors of the Estrie-CHUS, an additional 19 people received medical aid to die in 2017 compared to 2016.
12 décembre 2017 TWO YEARS OF EUTHANASIA IN QUEBEC: THE FACTS
Article by Aubert Martin on the alarming lack of safeguards and oversight on assisted suicide in Quebec.
28 November 2017 INCREASING NUMBER OF CALLS FOR THE ELDER ABUSE HELP LINE
The Center received 35 % more calls from 2016 to 2017, the number increasing from 2576 to 3483.
27 November 2017 ASSISTED SUICIDE: HIVON CALLS VALLÉE
Véronique Hivon calls on Quebec Justice Minister Stéphanie Vallée to reconsider her decision, and ask the Court of Appeal to clarify the notion of “reasonably foreseeable death” in the federal law on medical assistance in dying.
16 November 2017 ASSISTED SUICIDE: BARRETTE LOSES AGAINST VALLÉE
The Quebec government will not ask the courts to clarify the “reasonably foreseeable death concept” contained in the federal law on assisted suicide, as it had called for in March.
31 October 2017 SURVEY ON EUTHANASIA
The Association of Caregivers of the Capitale-Nationale (APACN) unveiled the results of a survey on the perception of 980 caregivers of assisted suicide.
26 October 2017 ASSISTED SUICIDE GIVEN WITHOUT THE RIGHT TO IT
Some Quebec patients receive assisted suicide without fulfilling the criteria. For example, two people received euthanasia even tho they were not in end-of-life situation.
26 October 2017 ASSISTED SUICIDE HAVE JUMPED 282 % IN ONE YEAR
The Commission on end-of-life care tables its second annual report in the National Assembly. According to the report some patients were euthanaised without being entitled to it.
24 October 2017 BARRETTE CRITICIZED
Health minister Gaétan Barrette faces criticism as a growing number of Quebec doctors quit the public system.
12 October 2017 CLAIMING OF A LONG-TERM CARE LAW
The Minister of Health and the Minister for Seniors will remain in place following the cabinet reshuffle. The Council for the Protection of the Patients is concerned and calls for a law on long-term care.
9 October 2017 LACK OF MENTAL-HEALTH SERVICES: A GROWING PROBLEM
Activists complain of a growing problem of a lack of mental-health services due to cuts in the Quebec health system. A 2009 study by the Institut de la statistique du Québec estimated that the mental-health needs of 200,000 Quebecers were not being addressed. Today, that figure is probably much higher, say mental-health advocates.
29 September 2017 QUEBEC MOVES SLOWLY TOWARD EUTHANASIA FOR DEMENTIA
According to a study led by Sherbrooke University, 91% of caregivers believe that Quebec’s “medical aid in dying” law should be extended to cover incapable people who are terminally ill, have signs of distress, and have a written. Read more here and here
28 September 2017 OMBUDSMAN’S REPORT IN QUEBEC
Hastily cobbled together government administrative reforms have hit the province’s most vulnerable hard, whether it’s a person waiting for a mammogram, a senior who needs home care or an immigrant trying to get into Quebec. According to the most recent report from the Quebec Ombudsman, home care services have been reduced in Quebec.
21 September 2017 SHORTAGE OF DOCTORS IN CHSLD
Several doctors have stopped practicing in residential and long-term care centers (CHSLDs) in recent months, a consequence, according to some professionals, of the health reform of Minister Gaétan Barrette.
30 August 2017 WIFE ALLEGES DOCTOR LET HER HUSBAND DIE
A woman has filed a complaint with a Quebec agency alleging that her husband was denied antibiotics to treat an infection after doctors determined it was better to let him die because he had cancer.
23 August 2017 ASSISTED SUICIDE STILL DIVIDES
While Quebec and Ottawa are exploring the possibility of expanding medical aid to die, the act is still very controversial for many physicians in the country.
25 July 2017 THE SILENT STRUGGLE OF CAREGIVERS
According to Irene Demczuk, General Coordinator of the Regroupement des Assistants Naturels du Québec, there is not enough support for caregivers in Quebec.
Non-francophones are not impressed by how Health Minister Gaétan Barrette is handling the crisis at the McGill University Health Centre and it may hurt the Liberals in the next election, a new Montreal Gazette poll shows.
13 July 2017 REQUESTS FOR EUTHANASIA
After a very large increase in 2016, the number of requests for euthanasia decreases slightly in
Quebec according to partial data. However, all requests for euthanasia made in Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Côte-Nord were accepted. Read more
10 July 2017 RESIGNATIONS AT MCGILL UNIVERSITY HEALTH CENTER
Independent members of the Board of Directors of the McGill University Health Center (MUHC) announced their resignation, deploring Minister Barrette’s refusal to “engage in dialogue” with them.
Newly freed on bail while awaiting his trial for the second-degree murder of his ailing wife Jocelyne Lizotte last February — an act his lawyers defend as compassionate after she was denied medical aid in dying — Cadotte was visibly overwhelmed. Read more
Only weeks after the secretary of the Quebec College of Physicians, Dr. Yves Robert, wrote his May 10 reflection on whether the push for euthanasia has gone too far, two individuals have mounted a legal challenge against the Quebec law because of how restrictive it is. Aubert Martin, executive director of Living with Dignity, said Robert is now realizing euthanasia “has nothing to do” with doctors’ “medical competence, but is asking them to be a rubber stamp of someone’s request to die.”
Bail hearing for Michael Cadotte, alleged killer of his wife who suffered from Alzheimer’s. Defense lawyers argue that his actions were carried out “in compassion”.
Lawyer Jean-Pierre Ménard is challenging before the courts the cases of two people living with disabilities who were refused the assistance of a physician to kill themselves, requesting the removal of the “reasonably foreseeable death” clause of the federal law as well as the “end of life” requirement in the Quebec law.
The secretary of the College of Physicians, Dr. Yves Robert, publishes an open letter entituled Toward s customizable death? (Vers la mort à la carte?) to express his reluctance to expand assisted dying. Read more
Quebec is the first province to consider the controversial proposal of euthanasia by advance consent. Some dementia and Alzheimer’s sufferers say they would like the right to consent to doctor-assisted suicide before the disease destroys their ability to walk, talk and think.
24 March 2017 EXTENSION: BARRETTE ANNOUNCES MEASURE TO FUEL THE DEBATE
Gaétan Barrette announces measures designed to fuel the debate on a possible extension of the Act Respecting End-of-life Care, in particular for the incapacitated, but also potentially for people living with chronic diseases. Among other things, he amends the Commission’s mandate on end-of-life care to analyze euthanasia refusals.
20 March 2017 LESS TRAINING IN MENTAL HEALTH FOR FAMILY PHYSICIANS
The Quebec government has cut funding for educational activities that allowed future family physicians to receive specialized mental health training.
The lawyer of the Montrealer accused of killing his Alzheimer wife believes that it will be up to society and the court to decide whether it is a murder or an aid to die.
16 March 2017 REQUESTS RISE IN A QUEBEC’S REGION
Requests for euthanasia have risen in the region of Bas-Saint-Laurent.
14 March 2017 OVER 450 PATIENTS RECEIVED ASSISTED SUICIDE LAST YEAR
During the first year of the new law in Quebec, a total of 461 people have died by euthanasia. Full statistics here.
An article discussing Living with Dignity’s response to the murder of a woman by her caregiver husband last month.
23 February 2017 LAW EXTENSION TO ALZHEIMER PATIENTS
Health Minister Gaetan Barrette opens the door for public debate on extending assisted suicide to patients unable to give consent; such as those with Alzheimers.
A man allegedly suffocated his 60-year-old spouse allegedly to end the suffering of his wife who was suffering from advanced stage Alzheimer’s.
27 février 2017 SHOULD QUEBEC’S ALZHEIMER PATIENTS BE ELIGIBLE FOR EUTHANASIA?
Quebec is about to embark upon a debate on the involuntary euthanasia of demented elderly. Quebec parliamentarians now want to open a public debate on legalizing euthanasia for persons unable to give informed consent, just over a year after the legalization of euthanasia.
Businessman Alexander Taillefer pleads for Quebec to invest more to prevent suicide online as part of the 27th Suicide Prevention Week with the theme “Suicide is not an option“.
22 January 2017 MAJORITY OF HEALTH WORKERS ARE STRESSED OUT, UNION SAYS
The APTS on Sunday unveiled the results of a survey of its union members, who work in the Quebec health network as physiotherapists, social workers, medical imaging technologists, special educators and other positions.
The consequences for mistreating animals are worse than for mistreating seniors, a well-known Quebec patient’s rights advocate is arguing.Paul Brunet with the Council for the Protection of Patients didn’t mince words Tuesday morning when he spoke before hearings began on Bill 115, the proposed legislation to fight elder abuse.The bill tabled last fall doesn’t go far enough, said Brunet.
14 January 2017 CANADIAN BIOETHICISTS CALL FOR ORGAN DONNORS EUTHANASIA
Euthanasia became legal in Canada in June and by December Quebec bioethicists had already published an article in the Journal of Medical Ethics calling for organ donation after euthanasia. In fact, they were reflecting the positive opinions of the both the Quebec government and Transplant Quebec.
10 January 2017 MORE REQUESTS FOR EUTHANASIA
The number of cases of euthanasia in Quebec exceeds expectations (again): 84% of augmentation.