Quebec announces it is exploring ways to allow euthanasia despite federal law

The government is creating a committee of legal experts to examine how euthanasia and assisted suicide could be allowed in Quebec.
Thu Jun 14, 2012 - 5:09 pm EST

MONTREAL, June 14, 2012 ( - The Liberal Quebec government announced today that it is creating a committee of legal experts to examine how euthanasia and assisted suicide could be allowed in Quebec, despite the fact that they are forbidden by the federal criminal code. The announcement was made during a joint press briefing by Minister of Health Yves Bolduc and Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Quebec, Jean-Marc Fournier.

Minister Bolduc explained that a report recently released by the Select Committee on Dying with Dignity, which recommended that euthanasia be permitted in Quebec, was “well received” and motivated the move to find legal experts who would guide the implementation of its recommendations in Quebec. Bolduc also noted that the Select Committee was one of the most widely followed committees in Quebec history, and the one with the most briefs submitted.

Justice Minister Jean-Marc Fournier stated that the recommendations contained in the commission’s report had “juridical implications of fundamental import.” He asserted that the commission offered “rigorous conditions for obtaining medical aid in dying” and restated one of the recommendations of the Committee, namely that the attorney general of Quebec direct his various district attorneys to refuse to charge any doctor who commits an act of euthanasia in conformity with certain clearly-stated criteria.

Georges Buscemi, Quebec president of pro-life and anti-euthanasia group Campagne Québec-Vie, stated that the government’s most recent move was “completely predictable”.


“They now consider the ethical questions resolved. They’ve buried the whole ethical and spiritual dimension of killing people with the Select Committee Report on Dying with Dignity, and now they’re basically saying that the only problem left is how to kill patients without getting in trouble with the law.” Asked whether he agreed with the government that a “consensus” had been reached with respect to euthanasia, Buscemi answered : “they never mention that fully two thirds of the record number of the briefs submitted to the select committee were absolutely against opening the door to euthanasia and assisted suicide in our health care system.”

The Select Committee report recommended that a bill outlining the criteria by which doctors could kill their patients be presented in Quebec’s national assembly by no later than June 2013.


  assisted suicide, euthanasia, politics, quebec

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