Almost 450 Quebec patients were euthanized last year

By Xavier Symons

New data released on assisted dying in Quebec indicates that requests for euthanasia doubled in the province in the second half of 2016.

According to statistics compiled by the Protection of Conscience Project, 441 people in the region requested euthanasia in the second half of 2016, up from 266 in the first half of the year. In total 449 people were euthanized in Quebec in 2016, 163 in the first half of the year and 286 in the second half.

According to Dr. Alain Naud, a urologist at the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec, the data indicates medical aid in dying is meeting a societal need, and the process is “increasingly known to the population and caregivers.”

Canada and Quebec have two separate laws governing medical assistance in dying. Quebec’s law, which is narrower than the recently passed federal version, requires that applicants “be at the end of life.”

Predictions in the Project of Conscience study suggest that if the rate of increase in euthanasia continues, medical aid in dying [MAID] will account for close to 1% of deaths in Quebec in 2017.

Editor’s note. This appeared at Bioedge and is reposted with permission.

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