Saturday, November 30, 2013

Canadian Doctors Support Bill 52 and Medical Aid in Dying

Very few seniors would avail themselves of this option,
yet, for those to whom it might apply,
they should have a choice.

Physicians want assisted dying legalized in all provinces

Today the Association québécoise pour le droit de mourir dans la dignité and  Dying With Dignity issued the following media release.  The English version follows and is on our website, a French version is also available.

MEDIA RELEASE: For immediate release

Canadian Doctors Support Bill 52 and Medical Aid in Dying

MONTREAL, Quebec, November 19, 2013 – Today, the Association québécoise pour le droit de mourir dans la dignité (AQDMD) and the Advisory Council of Physicians of Dying With Dignity Canada (DWD) formalized their support for Quebec’s medically-assisted dying legislation through a Letter in Support of Quebec’s Bill 52, An Act Respecting End-of-Life Care. “Bill 52 is carefully worded proposed legislation and attentive reading will reveal that the necessary safeguards are in place,” says Dr. Dave Lambert, a retired orthopaedic surgeon from Sherbrooke, Quebec.

  The letter states:
 We believe that medically assisted dying should be legal and an option for individuals who are suffering grievously at end of life. As physicians, we stress these criteria: the individual must be competent and must initiate the request, the illness or condition must be both serious and incurable, and the individual’s suffering must be unbearable to them. We believe that medically-assisted dying is part of good palliative care. But palliative care in itself is often not enough. Not all suffering can be controlled in ways that are acceptable to the patient. Medically assisted dying is about giving control to the suffering person. Having control brings peace of mind, and sometimes that is all that is needed. In Oregon, where assisted dying is legal, 35% of individuals approved for assisted dying have died of natural causes. We, as supporters of Association québécoise pour le droit de mourir dans la dignité and members of The Advisory Council of Physicians of Dying with Dignity, believe the Quebec National Assembly was correct in passing Bill 52 on first reading on October 29, 2013. 

 We look forward to this bill becoming law in Quebec and hope it becomes an example for legislative reform in other provinces across the country.

 For more information contact:
Many seniors lead a good life
 Helene Bolduc,
AQDMD Tel: 514-341-4017

Email: helene.bolduc @
 Wanda Morris, Executive Director Dying With Dignity
Canada Tel: 1-800-495-6156
 Email: wanda @

  Background Information:

2012 Angus Reid poll showed that 80% of Canadians support the right of terminally ill patients to have medical assistance to die. Similarly, anEnvironics Institute poll released last month found Quebec residents are more likely than other Canadians to support medically assisted death. The poll found that nearly four in five Quebec residents said they approved of allowing a terminally ill or severely disabled person to end their life.

Association québécoise pour le droit de mourir dans la dignité (AQDMD) is a Québec organization dedicated to legalizing the option of medical aid in dying for individuals afflicted with unbearable suffering.  Dying With Dignity Canada (DWD) is a Canadian organization devoted to improving quality of dying and expanding end-of-life choices for all Canadians. The physicians who are  supporters of AQDMD and the Advisory Council of Physicians of DWD support Bill 52, An Act Respecting End-of- Life Care.

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