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.”
Editorial: Assisted dying: it’s time for a discussion
(Editorial from Montreal Gazette)
Whether to allow people with terminal illnesses to die at a time of their choosing with the assistance of a doctor is a thorny issue in which Canadian politicians have been reluctant to engage, even as it becomes more pressing.
Canada’s Criminal Code now makes it an offence punishable by a jail sentence of up to 14 years to counsel or assist someone to commit suicide, or to agree to be put to death…Those in favour of assisted dying maintain that terminally ill people in the grip of excruciating pain should have the right to “die with dignity” should they so choose and have recourse to medical assistance if they wish it.