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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, 2016

Introduction

Since 10 December, 2015, euthanasia has 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 and are required to make reports to a commission established by the law (the Commission sur les soins de fin de vie) to monitor the administration of euthanasia.  According to the Commission, they are also required to post these reports on their websites.

As of 6 March, 2016, one of these agencies (Outaouais) had not posted the reports on its website.  Two (Outaouais and Abitibi-Temiscamingue) had neither posted the most recent report nor sent the report to the Commission, and did not respond to a request for it.

The Project has compiled the statistics provided by the other agencies in 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.

Quebec's euthanasia rate almost doubled in the last half of 2016.  One year after legalization, Quebec has passed the euthanasia rate reached by Belgium after five years.  If Quebec's rate continues without escalation throughout 2017, it will exceed that achieved by Belgium after nine years. 

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, 2016), Protection of Conscience Project, 9 March, 2017.

CONTENTS
Euthanasia Requests
Response to Euthanasia Requests
Euthanasia Provided
Reasons Euthanasia Not Provided
Frequency of Euthanasia Requests
Frequency of Euthanasia
Quebec Mortality Rates
Quebec, Belgium and Netherlands
Projected Quebec Euthanasia Deaths in 2017

Euthanasia Requests
Province wide
Euthanasia requested/provided province wide
In reporting agencies
Number of requests in reporting agencies
In administrative regions
Number of euthanaia 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
Response to euthanasia requests
Province wide
Response to euthanasia requests province wide
In reporting agencies
Response to euthanasia requests in reporting agencies 
In administrative regions
Response to euthanasia requests in administrative regions 

Euthanasia provided
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 administrative regions
Euthanasia provided per 100,000 palliative patients in administrative regions
Per 100,000 population in administrative regions
Euthanasia per 100,000 population in administrative regions 

Reasons euthanasia not provided
Of all requests province wide
Reasons euthanasia not provided of all requests province wide 
Of declined requests province wide
Reasons euthanasia not provided in reporting agencies 
In reporting agencies
Reasons euthanasia not provided in reporting agencies
In administrative regions
Reasons euthanasia not provided in administrative regions

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

Frequency of euthanasia
Weekly in reporting agencies
 Frequency of 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 non-medical homicide and suicide rates per 100,000 population
Euthanasia and non-medical homicide and suicide rates
Quebec euthanasia and selected mortality rates
Euthanasia and selected mortality rates

Quebec, Belgium and Netherlands
Reported euthanasia deaths

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

Quebec, Belgium, Netherlands; Reported euthanasia deaths
Euthanasia deaths per 100,000 population
 Quebec, Belgium, Netherlands: Euthanasia deaths per 100,000 population
Euthanasia deaths as percentage of all deaths
Quebec, Belgium, Netherlands: Euthanasia deaths as percent of all deaths 
Frequency of euthanasia
 Quebec, Belgium, Netherlands: Frequency of euthanasia
Time available to review each case

In theory, Quebec's Commission sur les soins de fin de vie could have over four hours available to review each case of euthanasia.  In practice, the Commission is rarely in session. Between 1 July and 31 August it met three times and reviewed or re-evaluated 135 files: 45 files each day. Assuming 8 hours per meeting, this allowed a little over 10 minutes per file.  [Commission sur les soins de fin de vie, Rapport annuel d'activities (10 December, 2015 to 30 June, 2016)]

 Quebec, Belgium, Netherlands: Time available for review

Projected Quebec Euthanasia Deaths in 2017

Based on the continuance of all rates in the last half of 2016, 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

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