Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Québec Commission on End-of-Life Care warns that some euthanasia deaths do not comply with the law.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

CBC News reporter, Rowan Kennedy, reported on August 6 that Dr. Michel Bureau, the President of Québec's Commission on End-of-Life Care sent a letter to euthanasia doctors urging them to stop abusing the law. Kennedy reported:
The head of the commission says he sent out a memo this week to try and clear up any confusion about expanded availability of MAID — which came into effect in June — and advise doctors of the proper application of the law.
Recent reports indicate that Québec euthanasia deaths increased by more than 50% in 2022 giving them the highest euthanasia rate in the world at approximately 6.1% of all deaths. 

According to Bureau, every month 2 or 3 euthanasia deaths do not meet the guidelines. Kennedy reported:

The commission reviews about 500 requests for doctor-assisted death every month, but Bureau says two to three of those monthly applications don't meet provincial guidelines. He says doctors must recognize those cases.

"At times, [physicians] don't know really if they are right or not and at times, they're not," he said.

The memo reminds doctors of several guidelines, including that requests due to old age do not meet provincial criteria for the procedure, and an independent opinion from a second doctor isn't a formality — it's a requirement.

Bureau said any deviation from the rules can be a slippery slope, especially as the commission is seeing an increasing number of requests for MAID.
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) believes that more euthanasia deaths fall outside of the law. The reporting procedure requires the doctor who carried out the euthanasia death to also report the euthanasia death. This self-reporting system enables doctors to "cover-up" controversial euthanasia deaths.

EPC asks, "Why have none of the doctors been sanctioned for killing patients outside of the law?"

Dr Georges L'Espérance, the president of the Quebec Association for the Right to Die in Dignity, told CBC news that the number of euthanasia deaths are increasing because of the knowledge that MAID is an option. He also criticizes the memo, saying it might stigmatize the procedure or even dissuade some doctors from providing it.

Clearly L'Espérance is not concerned that doctors are killing people outside of the law.

The Living with Dignity network sent out a media release on August 7 challenging the non-compliance with the euthanasia law.

1 comment:

James FitzHugh said...

These deaths, committed outside of the established rules, should be considered an act of murder. We should never have started down this slippery. I have always warned that there is a likelihood that the moment a hospital patent goes into a coma or arrives at the hospital in a coma, the doctors ill go to the family members and tell them they have four choices:
a) your parent will not recover and we suggest putting him or her to sleep (another word for 'euthanasia')
b) we can keep your comatose parent here in the hospital but the cost per day will be.
c) We can arrange for the comatose parent to be sent to an appropriate special care or nursing home.
d) you can take the patient home and look after him or her with some help from Community Nurses.
To me "Life is defined .... from the moment of conception to death by natural causes".