Thaddeus Baklinski


Poll finds only 35% support Quebec’s ‘Aid in Dying’ bill; confusion about bill widespread

Thaddeus Baklinski

QUEBEC, October 29, 2013 ( - As the Quebec National Assembly prepares to vote today on Bill 52 (An Act respecting end-of-life care), a new opinion poll conducted for LifeCanada indicates most Quebec residents do not favor the bill’s provisions for “medical aid in dying.”

In an online survey of almost 500 Quebec residents conducted between October 23 and 28 by Abingdon Research, 47% said Bill 52 requires further study, while another 14% expressed opposition. Only a minority – 35% – were in favor of the bill. 

The poll also highlighted the public's confusion with the bill's use of the vague term “medical aid in dying.”

Before being given the definition of what the term actually means, only 30% of respondents answered correctly that “medical aid in dying,” as proposed by Bill 52, involves “a doctor giving a patient a lethal injection.” 

Natalie Sonnen, executive director of LifeCanada, which commissioned the poll, stated that widespread confusion created by ambiguous terms calls into question the reliability of previous polls citing strong support for this type of practice. 

“Once people understand and think about the implications of ‘medical aid in dying’ they back away from supporting Bill 52,” said Sonnen. 

Moreover, when poll participants were informed that Bill 52 is based on a Belgian law, and that studies revealed that one-third of Belgian patients given a lethal injection were killed without their consent, 83% of respondents expressed concern that this might happen in Quebec. 

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“This poll shows the Quebec population has not given its informed consent to 'medical aid in dying',” Sonnen said. 

“Contrary to what may have been assumed, the people have not given the government a mandate to proceed with such a monumental change in medical practice. The representatives of the people should reconsider before they take this step.”   

Sonnen points out that when the Quebec National Assembly’s Committee on Health and Social Services recently held public hearings on Bill 52, LifeCanada was one of seven organizations whose application to appear before the hearings was refused. 

The Opposition critic on the bill, Stephanie Vallée, was quoted in the press saying that because of the significance of the proposed legislation, all groups should have been heard before any National Assembly vote was held. 

“The legislature has not sufficiently heard from the people,” said Sonnen, explaining that this is why her organization commissioned the survey. 

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) is urging Canadians to write to Justice Minister Peter MacKay, demanding that Quebec not be allowed to circumvent federal law by ambiguously presenting euthanasia as a form of "health care," and that he “uphold our federal law that equally protects all Canadians from euthanasia and assisted suicide.”


Contact information:

Hon Peter MacKay
284 Wellington St., Ottawa ON, K1A 0H8
Phone: 613-992-6022
Fax: 613-992-2337
Email: [email protected]


Vote on Quebec bill to allow euthanasia expected Tuesday

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