One out of two doctors who have turned down requests for medical assistance in dying by terminally-ill patients have probably done so without justification under the Quebec law, says the head of the province’s commission on end-of-life care.
“It’s 50-50,” Dr. Michel Bureau told the Montreal Gazette in an interview. “Are there some doctors who are too strict in the application of the criteria? We have observed this (attitude) in several cases.”
Despite the progress made in implementing the so-called dying with dignity law, some physicians continue to resist carrying out assisted dying, although in fewer numbers than when the legislation came into effect on Dec. 10, 2015, Bureau added. . . . [Full text]
QUEBEC — The McGill University Health Centre has repealed its policy exempting the palliative care unit from offering medical aid to die, said Health Minister Gaétan Barrette on Wednesday.
“This morning, I met with Mr. (Normand) Rinfret and he told me that as of this very moment, the policy has been repealed,” Barrette said, referring to the MUHC’s executive director. “As we speak today, no patient can be transferred out of the palliative care unit at the MUHC, and medical aid in dying will be made available in the unit itself.” . . . [Full text]
QUEBEC — The McGill University Health Centre is being forced to backtrack on a policy that exempts its palliative care unit from helping patients die.
Health Minister Gaétan Barrette issued a strongly worded letter to the MUHC’s director general Wednesday, urging him to change the policy, which he says does not respect the law.
“To say that medical aid to die will not be offered in a particular unit … poses a serious problem when it comes to respecting patients’ lawful right to receive end-of-life care,” the minister wrote. . . [Full text]
The McGill University Health Centre said Monday it will change its policy and allow medically assisted dying in its palliative care unit after coming under fire from Health Minister Gaétan Barrette last week.
The uproar came about after a patient at the Glen site had to be transferred out of the palliative care unit to receive medical aid in dying in April.
Barrette sent a letter to the MUHC’s director general last week, asking the hospital network to change its policy, because it does not respect the new law. . . [Full text]
Ontario will allow hospitals to opt out of providing assisted death within their walls, provoking charges from ethicists that conscientious accommodation has gone too far.
Elsewhere in the country, a divide is already shaping up, with half of voluntary euthanasia cases in Quebec reportedly occurring in Quebec City hospitals — and few in Montreal.
The situation highlights the messy state of the emotionally charged debate as the provinces wrestle with the new reality of doctor-assisted death, and as the Senate takes a proposed new law further than the governing Liberals are prepared to go. . . [Full Text]