By Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
A spokesperson for Justice Minister Peter MacKay responded on May 23 to the re-introduction of the Québec euthanasia Bill 52 by stating:
"The issue of assisted suicide creates great excitement and divisions among many Canadians. Our government believes that the provisions of the Criminal Code prohibiting assisted suicide and euthanasia are used to protect all people, including the most vulnerable people in our society."
The spokesperson for the Justice Minister also stated that the federal government uses the terms euthanasia and assisted suicide, rather than end-of-life care.
Québec's Bill 52 will give doctors the right to lethally inject their patients based on the patient having physical or psychological pain.
Bill 52 masks the reality of the bill by defining euthanasia as a form of medical treatment that is part of "end-of-life care."
Québec Premier Philippe Couillard responded by stating:
"This is a bill about end of life care, the continuum of care,"
If Bill 52 is passed by the Québec National Assembly, groups in Québec have already stated that they will bring the government to court based on the fact that euthanasia is a form of homicide and not medical treatment and therefore the Québec government does not have the right to legislate on this issue.