Terminally ill patients in Quebec now have the right to choose to die. In a historic vote in the National Assembly, Quebec has become the first province to legalize doctor-assisted death as part of comprehensive end-of-life legislation.
The non-partisan Bill 52, also known as an act respecting end-of-life care, passed Thursday afternoon June 5th 2014, in a free vote at the National Assembly in Quebec City.
Bill 52 outlines the conditions in which a terminally ill adult patient who is of sound mind may request continuous palliative sedation that would lead to death. Patients would need to have an incurable illness and be in “an advanced state of irreversible decline in capacities.” They would also have to be in constant and unbearable physical and psychological pain that doctors would view as impossible to relieve through medication.
The procedure for making the request would be supervised by the attending physician and approved though consultation with the hospital’s medical team. And, finally, a patient could at any time withdraw a signed request for medical aid in dying.
For more details:
CBC Montreal: Quebec Passes Dying-With-Dignity Bill
Globe & Mail: Quebec Adopts Right-To-Die Legislation