The Select Committee on Dying with Dignity is a committee established by the Québec National Assembly. 427 briefs and presentations were made to the committee. A strong majority of those who presented to the committee (60%) did not want to see physician assisted suicide or euthanasia legalized. Further, 99% indicated support for the development of quality palliative care made accessible to all who need it.
However, the Committe is ignoring the wishes of many by recommending the legalization of euthanasia or as the authors of the commission’s report refer to it ‘medical aid in dying’. They place euthanasia as another option in end of life care. The report advances that since health care and the administration of justice are provincial matters, the province could enact criteria to allow euthanasia. Hence physicians who commit euthanasia would not be prosecuted if they abide by the proposed guidelines.
Euthanasia practice in Holland and Belgium provides ample proof that guidelines and safeguards will not protect the lives of the vulnerable once euthanasia is accepted. Patients are killed without their consent or request.
Section 241 of the Criminal Code of Canada forbids euthanasia and assisted suicide. This law protects the lives of those most vulnerable to pressures for assisted suicide and euthanasia; the elderly, the sick and the disabled.
Patients need care not killing.