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Protection of Conscience Project

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Service, not Servitude
Background

Euthanasia statistics: Quebec

10 December, 2015 to 10 December, 2017

Introduction

Since 10 December, 2015, euthanasia has been provided by physicians in Quebec under the terms of An Act Respecting End of Life Care (ARELC).  Health and social services agencies established by the government throughout the province are state agencies responsible for the delivery and coordination of health care in the province administrative regions. These are called Centres intégrés de santé et de services sociaux (CISSS) and Centres intégrés universitaires de santé et de services sociaux [CIUSSS).  Some administrative regions (like Montreal and the Quebec City region) have more than one CISSS or CIUSSS.

These agencies are responsible for the delivery of euthanasia.  For two years beginning 10 December, 2015, they were required to make reports twice yearly to a commission established by the law to monitor the administration of euthanasia (the Commission sur les soins de fin de vie) and publish them on their websites.  These twice-yearly reports will apparently cease to be published after that time.  The Commission draws from these and other reports to make its required summary of activity to the legislature (National Assembly).

 The Project has compiled the statistics provided in these reports from10 December, 2015 to 10 December, 2017.  The compilation includes tables and charts, some of which are reproduced below. 

Note that, in some cases, the number of patients lethally infused is higher than the number of requests because euthanasia was provided in response to a request made in the previous reporting period.  In addition, not all euthanasia deaths are captured in these reports, as some regions with low populations do not publish reports, and euthanasia may be provided by private entities that are not subject to the statutory twice-yearly reporting requirement.

  • The number of euthanasia requests made weekly in the province increased from about 14 in 2016 to about 23 in 2017. In Montérégie the number of requests weekly doubled; they more than tripled in Bas-Saint Laurent.
  • Euthanasia was provided about 9 times weekly in the province during 2016 and about 14 times weekly in 2017.
  • The number of euthanasia deaths increased by about 67% from 454 in 2016 to 757 in 2017.  This is about 1.1% of deaths from all causes, a rate not reached by Belgium for 9 years after legalization.
    • In Outaouais the number of euthanasia deaths almost doubled (11 to 21)
    • In Chaudière-Appalaches the number more than doubled (18 to 40)
    • The number of euthanaia deaths more than tripled in Saguenay-Lac-Staint-Jean (6 to 19)
    • The number of euthanasia deaths quadrupled in Côte-Nord (2 to 8), and more than quadrupled in Abitibi-Témiscamingue (4 to 18).
  • 434 requests for euthanasia were not acted upon in 2017, up from 263 in 2016.  However, the percentage of all requests not acted upon remained constant at 37%.
    • In 11% of the cases the patient died of natural causes before euthanasia was provided, up from 9% in 2016.
    • About 8% of the patients did not qualify for the procedure, down from 11% in 2016.
  • Marked increases in rates of continuous palliative sedation occurred in a couple of regions, notably Laurentides (a 2017 reate almost six times that of 2016)

Download the full Excel file (10 December, 2015 to 10 December, 2017) (Includes links to original reports).

Creative Commons LicenceThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Suggested citation:  Murphy S. Euthanasia reported in Quebec: statistics compiled from the Rapports aux directeur général au Conseil d'administration de l'établissement et à la Commission sur les soins de fin de vie (10 December, 2015 to 10 December, 2017). Protection of Conscience Project (31 May, 2018).

CONTENTS
Euthanasia Requests
Euthanasia Provided
Euthanasia Not Provided
Frequency of Euthanasia Requests
Frequency of Euthanasia
Mortality Rates
Quebec, Belgium and Netherlands
Projected Quebec Euthanasia Deaths in 2018
Continuous Palliative Sedation

To be distinguished from palliative sedation per se.  See the following important commentary concerning this subject:

Reports of CPS


Euthanasia Requests
Province wide
Euthanasia requests province wide
In reporting agencies
Euthanasia requests in reporting agencies
In administrative regions
Euthanasia requests in administrative regions
Per 100,000 palliative patients in reporting agencies
Euthanasia requests per 100,000 palliative patients in reporting agencies
Per 100,000 palliative patients in administrative regions
Euthanasia requests per 100,000 palliative patients in administrative regions
Per 100,000 population in administrative regions
Euthanasia requests per 100,000 population in administrative regions
Euthanasia Provided
Province wide
Euthanasia provided province wide
In reporting agencies
Euthanasia provided in reporting agencies 
In administrative regions
Euthanasia provided in administrative regions 
Per 100,000 palliative patients in reporting agencies
Euthanasia provided per 100,000 patients in reporting agencies
Per 100,000 palliative patients in reporting agencies
Euthanasia provided per 100,000 palliative patients in reporting agencies
Per 100,000 population in administrative regions
Euthanasia per 100,000 population in administrative regions 

Euthanasia Not Provided
Of all requests province wide (number)
Euthanasia not provided of all requests province wide (number) 
Of all requests province wide (percentage)
Euthanasia not provided of all requests province wide (percentage) 
Reasons not provided of all requests province wide (number)
Reasons euthanasia not provided of all requests province wide (number)
Reasons not provided of all requests province wide (percentage)
Reasons euthanasia not provided of all requests province wide (percentage)

Frequency of Euthanasia Requests
Weekly province wide
Euthanasia requests weekly province wide 
Weekly in reporting agencies
Euthanasia requests weekly in reporting agencies
Weekly in administrative regions
Euthanasia weekly in administrative regions 

Frequency of Euthanasia
Weekly province wide
Euthanasia weekly province wide
Weekly in reporting agencies
Euthanasia weekly in reporting agencies
Weekly in administrative regions
Euthanasia weekly in administrative regions

Quebec mortality rates

Note:  Euthanasia is normally classified as homicide, but physicians in Quebec have been instructed to record euthanasia as death from an underlying cause.  Homicide by euthanasia is distiguished here from non-medical homicide.

 

Quebec euthanasia and selected mortality rates
Euthanasia and selected mortality rates
Quebec euthanasia and non-medical homicide and suicide rates per 100,000 population
Euthanasia and non-medical homicide and suicide rates

Quebec, Belgium and Netherlands

Note: The 2002-2003 period in Belgium covered 15 months.  The 2015-2016 period in Quebec reported here covered about 12.75 months.

Reported euthanasia deaths per 100,000 population
Quebec, Belgium, Netherlands; Reported euthanasia deaths
Reported euthanasia deaths as percentage of all deaths
Quebec, Belgium, Netherlands: Euthanasia deaths per 100,000 population
Reported euthanasia deaths and suicide per 100,000 population
Quebec, Belgium, Netherlands: Euthanasia deaths as percent of all deaths 
Reported euthanasia deaths and suicide as percentage of all deaths
 Quebec, Belgium, Netherlands: Frequency of euthanasia

Projected Quebec Euthanasia Deaths in 2018

Based on the continuance of all rates in the second half of 2017, without escalation.

Projected euthanasia deaths per 100,000 population
 Projected euthanasia deaths per 100,000 population in 2017
Projected euthanasia deaths as a percentage of all deaths

Projected euthanasia deaths as percentage of all deaths


Continuous Palliative Sedation
Province wide

CPS province wide

In reporting agencies

CPS in reporting agencies

In administrative regions

CPS in administrative regions

Per 100,000 palliative patients in reporting agencies

CPS in administrative regions

Per 100,000 palliative patients in administrative regions

CPS in administrative regions

Per 100,000 population in administrative regions

CPS in administrative regions

 

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