ONTD Political

Quebec panel recommends allowing terminally ill to end their lives with help of Doctor

7:38 pm - 01/15/2013
A Quebec expert panel studying the legal aspects of medically assisted end-of-life procedures is recommending the province change the law to allow doctors to help some people who wish to end their lives.

The report says choosing end of life should be more clearly defined in the law as part of palliative care.

Quebec's so-called Dying with Dignity task force recommended allowing people with terminal illness to seek the help of a doctor to end their own lives, something prohibited under the federal Criminal Code.

The report stems from findings by a committee that looked at questions regarding assisted suicide and end-of-life procedures.

The committee's landmark Quebec report in 2012 [article about that here] recommended that doctors be allowed to help terminally ill patients die, in exceptional circumstances, if that is their wish.

The report was released in the Quebec legislature, after two years of work from the Dying With Dignity Committee, a multi-partisan group of nine MNAs.

Source
They mentioned on the Radio-Canada newscast that the public response is generally positive.
gloraelin 16th-Jan-2013 12:59 am (UTC)
Yes please. Because fucking hell, animals get that chance, why can't people? I for one will not sit here and say "oh yes, you need to suffer with cancer until it kills you," or "yeah, you get to watch and feel alzheimer's or parkinson's slowly destroy your mind and body because we don't think you're allowed to make that decision for your own life."

A++ support etc etc.
romp 16th-Jan-2013 02:35 am (UTC)
yeah, sometimes the body says alive longer than is reasonable--it's a definite design flaw :(
laja_89 16th-Jan-2013 01:06 am (UTC)
I definitely support this.
luminescnece 16th-Jan-2013 01:15 am (UTC)
I couldn't want this more for all of Canada. Go Quebec!
angelus7988 16th-Jan-2013 02:32 am (UTC)
Hopefully the Catholic Church won't manage to turn public opinion against this like it did in Massachusetts.
uluviel 16th-Jan-2013 04:34 pm (UTC)
The catholic church has had no weight in Quebec politics since the Quiet Revolution in the 60s. A majority of the population is roman catholic, but that's more of a cultural identity than a religious one. We're a very secular and left-wing (on social issues, at least) province. Less than 10% of the population goes to church regularly, and an overwhelming majority of those are elderly. Most couples simply co-habitate and never marry (60% of Quebec children are born out of wedlock). Abortion is legal and paid for by our national healthcare. Gay marriage has been legal for almost a decade.

The church can huff and puff all they like, no one is paying attention to them. The only obstacle in our way to legalizing euthanasia is that it's not entirely ours to legalize. The provincial government is all for it - the committee was multi-partisan - but the federal government, which is conservative, might throw a wrench in the process.
romp 16th-Jan-2013 02:38 am (UTC)
right on! I lived in Oregon when they legalized euthanasia despite it still being illegal federally

I don't understand the argument against it. The decision is not made quickly or easily. It can have the same safeguards against manipulation and abuse as other laws designed to protect the elderly and disabled. Where it exists, people don't go racing to their doctor to die. It's just a little help near the end if existence gets too miserable.
thelilyqueen 16th-Jan-2013 03:00 am (UTC)
The most understandable argument I've heard against it are concerns that people will be pushed into it to spare their families the financial, emotional, etc. burden of their care. Definitely don't want to see that happen. But, like you, I feel the safeguards in laws like Oregon's are adequate.

I seem to remember some research too finding that places with doctor-assisted suicide tend to do better with palliative care, perhaps to try to keep patients from suffering enough to use the law or because doctors had less fear of being prosecuted for providing adequate pain management even if it might shorten life.
daf9 16th-Jan-2013 02:39 am (UTC)
Read a study a while ago (don't remember where) that showed that given the opportunity to end their lives the majority of people didn't but knowing they had the option improved their state of mind. So go Quebec!
anjak_j 16th-Jan-2013 04:31 pm (UTC)
I remember reading an article a while back about the Swiss assisted suicide organisation Dignitas that indicated that most who register with the organisation never go on to actually use their services. This fits in with what the study you're talking about said - that for most people it is just a comfort to know that the option is there, if they wish to exercise their right to use it.
liliaeth 16th-Jan-2013 03:26 am (UTC)
I'm normally in favor of this, except... last week we had a case here that made me wonder if people should get psychologically evaluated a bit more first.

Last week a set of twins was granted permission for euthanasia, the reason...

Both were born deaf, which never caused a problem in their life, only in the past few years they started going blind as well, and apparently they didn't want to keep living when their only form of communication with one another was gone. Which admittedly, is sad and such, but I just find that what they need isn't to be allowed to end their life, but therapy and training to speak to one another in some other way. I mean seriously, I get that they're close, I get that they feel the need to speak to one another. But there's other deaf mute people in the world who still find ways to communicate....

I just didn't find that this situation matched my idea of undeniable mental and/or physical suffering. Both were only 45, which to me is not too old to learn another way of communication.
gloraelin 16th-Jan-2013 03:49 am (UTC)
But isn't that their choice and not yours? And if they were granted it, don't you think they've gone through enough "vetting"?
effervescent 16th-Jan-2013 05:18 am (UTC)
I watched a documentary recently about a man who made the trip to a country where it was legal... It was clearly very well regulated and he'd thought it out ahead of time, and there were witnesses and assessment after to make sure it wasn't murder... I don't see why people are so adamantly against it.
gloraelin 16th-Jan-2013 06:00 am (UTC)
Because suicide is seen as shameful and you're omg hurting your friends and permanent solution to temporary problems blah fucking blah*, and you're a total wuss if you don't tough it all out without pain meds or whatever.

*pardon my rage right now but a friend of mine killed himself over the weekend and this just. fucking hell, the way our society views suicide is so damaging...
tabaqui 16th-Jan-2013 12:54 pm (UTC)
Good on them. I wish the US were less idiotic about this.
crossfire 16th-Jan-2013 05:04 pm (UTC)
This is a good thing.
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