Québec government begins consultation on expanding euthanasia for Alzheimer’s

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Last September, a Quebec court expanded Canada’s euthanasia law by striking down the “terminal illness” requirement in the law.

As the Canadian Press reported at the time, “A judge today found the ‘reasonably foreseeable natural death’ requirement of the Criminal Code, which prevents some people from accessing medical assistance in dying, invalid.”

By striking down the terminal illness requirement, Justice Christine Baudouin expanded euthanasia to people who are not dying and to people with psychiatric reasons alone.

On Friday the Québec government announced the creation of an all-party consultation to examine expanding the euthanasia law. The Québec government is considering expanding euthanasia to people with Alzheimer’s.

In his ipolitics report, Kevin Dougherty wrote:

Quebec Health Minister Danielle McCann, accompanied by three opposition members in the provincial assembly, announced on Friday an all-party consultation on opening up the province’s law on physician-assisted suicide.

The Quebec law, adopted in 2014, two years before the federal government’s Bill C-14, now requires that a person who is mortally ill and near death must make informed consent to medical-assisted death before it is allowed.

McCann commissioned a panel of 22 experts to look into allowing medically assisted death in cases where the patient was no longer apt to affirm such consent or when the timeline of the disease means death may be certain but not imminent, such as Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases.

Currently the euthanasia law requires that a person be capable of consenting, at the time of death.

Nico Johnson, writing for the Post Millennial suggested that Luc Ferrandez, a Québec politician and environmentalist supports euthanasia for people who do not want to be a burden on society. Johnson wrote:

Writing in a Facebook post, the former mayor of Plateau Mont-Royal said, “Could we, for environmental, social and economic reasons, decide that we want to receive help to die so as not to be a burden for our family and society in general?”

Québec has its share of problems with euthanasia. Recently a Québec man asked for euthanasia based on his living condition while another Québec man claimed that his psychologist urged him to kill his wife.

The recent Québec euthanasia report stated that there were 1,331 reported euthanasia deaths (April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019). 13 of the reported deaths did not fit the criteria of the law and 3 of the euthanasia deaths were for hip fractures.

Canada has sadly become the example of how euthanasia can quickly expand, once legalized.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.