Friday, March 23, 2012

Quebec Endorses Medically-Assisted Dying

Bulletin from Wanda Morris
Executive Director  |  Dying With Dignity Canada
National Office:416. 486. 3998 x24  |  Vancouver Office: 604.210.2401

Quebec Endorses Medically-Assisted Dying

An all-party committee has issued a landmark report on Dying With Dignity in Quebec.

The Committee’s recommendations are excellent and we are particularly pleased to see that the report focuses on dying with dignity – in the broadest sense.  It recommends:
 ·         long overdue changes in and an expansion of palliative care
·         the strengthening of existing provisions around advance care directives
·         the issue of terminal sedation be addressed, an area which has been under-regulated
·         medically assisted dying with safeguards in certain circumstances.

Medically assisted dying falls under the prohibition against assisted suicide, which is in the criminal code (section 14 b and c) and thus a federal matter.  However, the administration of justice is a provincial matter and the Committee’s report is recommending that the government of Quebec use its authority to issue prosecutorial guidelines about when to lay charges under this section of the criminal code.

We've recently had the Royal Society Panel strongly endorse choice in dying in their report, now Quebec has spoken and soon the BC Courts will issue the opinion on the Carter Case (Gloria Taylor's challenge for the right to die).  Are we finally at a tipping point?   For more information and discussion of the Quebec report, see the this blog.

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