By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
Editor’s note. This first appeared at alexschadenberg.blogspot.com.
When Québec Premier Pauline Marois decided to dissolve the government and call for an April 7 election, the effect was to temporarily kill Bill 52 which would legalize euthanasia in Canada. The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition expects that a similar or possibly identical euthanasia bill will likely be introduced in the Québec National Assembly after the election.
The Québec government had promised to vote on Bill 52–“An Act Respecting End-of-Life Care”–before leaving for their break. But on Thursday, the Québec National Assembly left for a break without completing the debate or voting on Bill 52.
Marois’s Parti Quebecois government currently holds only 54 of 125 seats in the National Assembly. Recent polls, however, indicate that the Québec separatist government, under Premier Marois, may do well in this election, promoting Marois’s decision to dissolve the National Assembly.
• Bill 52 gave Québec doctors the right to lethally inject their patients when they are physically or psychological suffering.
• Bill 52 did not limit euthanasia to terminally ill people. The bill stated that a person must be “at the end of life” but the bill did not define end of life. Bill 52 allowed euthanasia for psychological suffering, which wasn’t defined.
• Bill 52 targeted people with disabilities. Bill 52 stated that a person must be in “an advanced state of irreversible decline in capability.” Since Bill 52 did not define “end of life” euthanasia could be extended to people with disabilities.
• Euthanasia is homicide in the federal Criminal Code. Bill 52 defined killing by lethal injection as “health care” in order to avoid the Criminal Code protections from euthanasia.
Bill 52 was unconstitutional and would have been challenged in the court.
Bill 52 was imprecise and open to abuse.
Bill 52 was lethal.