Saturday, November 9, 2019

Euthanasia for hip fractures in Québec

This article was published by the Australia Care Alliance on November 9, 2019.

Three people were euthanased in Quebec between April 2018 and March 2019 for a hip fracture. This is just one of the warnings about where legalisation of euthanasia leads that can be drawn from the latest report on euthanasia in Quebec.

Euthanasia in that Canadian province now accounts for nearly one out of fifty deaths (1.9%) with significantly higher rates in some health regions including the capital (3.38%) and Bas-Saint-Laurent (3.45%).

Although Canadian law requires "at least 10 clear days between the day on which the request was signed by the person and the day on which" euthanasia is provided unless "the person’s death, or the loss of their capacity to provide informed consent, is imminent" and the Quebec law requires the physician to verify “the persistence of suffering and that the wish to obtain" euthanasia "remains unchanged, by talking with the patient at reasonably spaced intervals given the progress of the patient’s condition" in a massive 40% of cases euthanasia was performed less than 10 days after a request was first made.

Only 11% of people euthanased had a prognosis of less than 2 weeks to live.
If the remaining cases involved an imminent loss of capacity this raises real questions about the validity of the original request. If a person is assessed on the verge of losing capacity what degree of certainty can there be that the person currently has full capacity? 
The report notes that there is a tendency is to refer applications for euthanasia to certain family physicians who consent to administer euthanasia to people even if they do not know them. These doctors administer a large number of euthanasia cases each year, with 43 doctors performing euthanasia on 10 or more people each in the reporting period (April 2018 to March 2019).

Read more on euthanasia in Canada here.


Liz said...

Thank you for this information. It would be helpful if you could give more information about the three episodes of euthanasia related to hip fractures. What was the person's health status before the fracture and on what basis was the euthanasia sought and granted; answers to both of these questions would enable your readers to better understand the implications of using euthanasia in these situations.

I do not agree with the use of euthanasia, for a number of reasons, but I do seek out information to help me understand why people choose it, why physicians perform it, what legal guidelines are out there to follow.... or not, and related information.

Thank you so much for your good work!

Alex Schadenberg said...

Its impossible to know that information that you seek because of privacy. We only learn more about these cases when families are upset and tell us the story, otherwise we would have minimal information at best.

For instance, the case of Alan Nichols only became known because the family was upset about the death of their brother. The reporting system does not tell us that Alan wasn't physically ill, in fact the doctor embellished his death certificate.

Voice of Gone Ballistic said...

I agree. How can a doctor say that a patient is going to lose competency within a few days. This is illogical.

phil said...

Dans trois cas, la Commission a été d’avis que l’information transmise ne démontrait pas que la personne était atteinte d’une maladie grave et incurable au sens strict de la Loi, bien qu’elle était en fin de vie, que sa situation médicale se caractérisait par un déclin avancé et irréversible de ses capacités et qu’elle éprouvait des souffrances physiques ou psychiques constantes et insupportables

In three cases, the Commission was of the opinion that the information provided did not demonstrate that the person was suffering from a serious and incurable illness in the strict sense of the Act, although at the end of their life, their medical situation was characterized by an advanced and irreversible decline of their abilities and that they were experiencing constant and unbearable physical and psychological pain

Anonymous said...

My mothers' life was taken from her when she had a fractured hip, even when she was
responding to rehab.
I also know of this happening to an older man who just had a broken arm.
It's going on all over the United States and the world.

Corrina Conlan said...

None of the procedures regarding euthanasia were followed regarding my mom at Chilliwack hospital. She was mending from brain surgery and the medical staff tried lieing to my face saying my mom couldn't swallow. Firstly, my husband has a real swallowing problem- I knew they were lieing. I had to come and feed my mom Karen myself because they were trying there darndest to starve her. They snuck lethal injections while they changed her behind my back. Why are these people not held accountable for murder is what I'd like to know. The I find out I cannot go to court here in B.C because of outdated laws. I want justice for the murder of my mom and she is not the only one. The medical staff at Chilliwack hospital have go e over board euthanizing patients! I was there every day- I saw everything!

Alex Schadenberg said...

Corrina. Please call me (Alex Schadenberg) at the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition at 1-877-439-3348.

Myra Hamilton said...

my own sister had her oxygen turned off while we were in the middle of a conversation per telephone.she was frantic. i was in shock. she had been recovering from pneumonia and had a discharge date of 4 days.her husband was having an extra marital with another woman and refused to take immediate action when requested by me as he was present with me when this was happening.The only proof i had was on my cell phone.the police stated they could not investigate as it was out of their jurisdiction.the board of registry for nurses stated they would not investigate unless i could find out the nurses name who shut the oxygen off.I
requested an investigation by The Protection for Persons in Care.I never heard back from them.When I did contact them again i received the cold shoulder treatment.I contacted the Board of Physicians and Surgeons and was told I can not lodge a complaint unless I have my sisters husbands permission.I then decided to contact the R.C.M.P. After listening to my story in detail they decided there was enough information to start an investigation.the attending doctor stated there was no order for euthanasia also no order for MAID. the investigating officer states when she was questioning my sisters husband that he was overwhelmed with grief.This disgusted me as he was visibly overjoyed when it happened and had refused to allow me to contact my sisters adult son at the time in an effort to obtain help for her.The investigating officer said she knew there were no cameras in my sisters private room .So how would it be known who it was that shut the oxygen off.i told her she could start with the nurse that my sister had a serious quarrel with 3 days previously. serious enough that it was or should have been documented in the nursing logs as i know for a fact the situation did indeed have the nurse reassigned to other patients.However to my knowledge the officer did not persue this information but instead states will close the case for now.My belief is that I will always know that my sister was illegally euthanized in a hospital in Nova Scotia and there is nothing that can be done about it.-Myra Hamilton

Jenifer said...

I wonder how many of these people could have had there pain controlled by opiates. Or were the doctor to afraid that the patient will get addicted. Many people commit suicide because of physical pain and after everything has been done and the pain is bad enough you go to opiates. Well now doctors do not want to prescribe so how many people are going to do this just because they cannot get proper pain relief. It is almost like they want people to hurt so bad that you want the doctor to kill you off. You can not have opiate because you might die, but they will give a OD of drugs when it gets so bad and you are old. How about treating the pain.