Quebec passes law allowing assisted suicide

Canada's Quebec province adopted legislation Thursday allowing terminally ill patients to kill themselves with a doctor's help, becoming the first jurisdiction in the country to effectively legalize assisted suicide.

The move sets the stage for a judicial row with Ottawa, as federal criminal law forbids euthanasia even with a person's consent.

Opponents have said it will undermine confidence in doctors' care, but there is growing demand for the suffering to have more control over their parting.

To get around Canada's against assisted suicide, Quebec is expected to argue that this is a health issue, which falls under its jurisdiction, and not a criminal matter.

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard defended the bill, saying it dealt with end of life care, and "not euthanasia."

The French-speaking province's former said when it was unveiled last year that the law would allow Quebecers to face "their final days in a more serene way, and in accordance with their wishes."

But critics, including some doctors, philosophers, ethicists, lawyers and clergymen, warned it could lead to abuses and unnecessary deaths.

The option is only available to adult Quebec residents who are suffering from a terminal illness, and an independent doctor must concur with the prognosis.

Four US states—Montana, Oregon, Vermont and Washington—have similar statutes on the books.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Quebec moves to allow assisted suicide (Update)

Jun 12, 2013

The government of Canada's mostly French-speaking Quebec province on Wednesday unveiled legislation allowing terminally ill patients to kill themselves with a doctor's help.

Recommended for you

Study reveals state of crisis in Canadian foster care system

Oct 24, 2014

A new study of foster care in Canada led by a researcher at Western University reveals a shrinking number of foster care providers are available across the country to care for a growing number of children with increasingly ...

Researchers prove the benefits of persimmons for diet

Oct 24, 2014

Alba Mir and Ana Domingo, researchers from the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Valencia, under the supervision of professors Miguel de la Guardia and Maria Luisa Cervera, from the same department, ...

Hand blenders used for cooking can emit persistent chemicals

Oct 24, 2014

Eight out of twelve tested models of hand blenders are leaking chlorinated paraffins when used according to the suppliers' instructions. This is revealed in a report from Stockholm University where researchers analyzed a ...

User comments