Peter Baklinski


Quebec legislators suggest the province will become Canada’s euthanasia mecca if Bill 52 passes

Peter Baklinski

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story stated that Sue Rodriguez died from Lou Gehrig’s disease, but there is reasonable suspicion that she may not have died through natural means. The story has now been amended to reflect that. We regret the error.

QUEBEC, December 10, 2013 ( – Quebec’s legislators have suggested that the province’s proposed "medical aid in dying" legislation, known as Bill 52, could bring tourists – not the kind coming to wine and dine on fine French cuisine but those seeking to be legally murdered by an attending doctor.

“We are certainly going to have people from other provinces who will come here, who will stay for a certain time — more than three months — precisely to have medical aid in dying,” said Yves Bolduc, former Liberal health minister and a member of the parliamentary committee studying the proposed euthanasia law during a committee hearing last week, as reported by National Post.

Pro-life-and-family leaders have criticized Bill 52 as a back door attempt by the Quebec government to circumvent the Criminal Code’s prohibition on euthanasia by defining it as ‘medical treatment’.

Hundreds of Quebec physicians have banded together to oppose the move, calling the pending legislation that would allow euthanasia through lethal injection “not a form of care, but rather the definitive end of all care."

One of the concerns raised by the bill’s opponents is that it would bring in euthanasia tourism of the sort seen in European countries such as Switzerland.

Bolduc explained how Canadians traveling to Quebec for the lethal injection would first need to obtain the province’s medicare card — granted after three month’s residency — to be eligible for the procedure.

He pointed to Sue Rodriguez, the woman with Lou Gehrig’s disease whose life ended suspiciously in the presence of MP Svend Robinson and an unnamed doctor in 1994 after unsuccessfully challenging the laws against assisted suicide at the Supreme Court, as the kind of person the province’s euthanasia legislation would attract.

President of Quebec’s death-with-dignity association Hélène Bolduc told the committee during the hearings that people would move to the province to avail themselves of legalized death. “All the better if there are a few people that we can welcome,” she said.

Veronique Hivon, Parti Québécois’ junior health minister and a moving force behind Bill 52, said that people from other provinces have written to her of their interest in having the bill passed.

“I just want to say that this interest shown elsewhere should make us realize just how privileged we are to be at the stage where we are in Quebec, to be debating this question,” she told the committee, adding that there are “a lot of people who are very happy to see how far along we are in the debate.”

Hivon said that while she expects people to come from out of province to have their lives ended by euthanasia, she noted that the committee is working to make sure that it will be prescribed in “very, very limited [cases].”

Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, told that if the bill passes in Quebec, it would force euthanasia on the rest of the country since travel to Quebec by sick people wanting to receive ‘medical aid in dying’ would be seen by liberal sympathetic judges as a form of ‘inequality’.

“If they don’t stop this euthanasia Bill 52 from killing people in Quebec, then it’s going to metastasize pretty quickly under the equality provisions of the Charter,” he said.

Natalie Sonnen, Executive Director of LifeCanada, agrees.

“If this bill becomes law, it would set a precedent for euthanasia to become a normal part of the health care system across Canada – just as it already is in Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg,” she said in a press release today.

Bill 52 passed its second reading in October. The bill, currently stuck in a committee that is studying it in detail, is not expected to be voted on until the new year.

The Federal Government stated in October that it is keeping abreast of developments on the bill and that it will “review the implications.”

Pro-life-and-family leaders are urging concerned citizens to write to their Member of Parliament and to Justice Minister Peter MacKay to ask them to draw a line in the sand and not allow doctors to kill their patients.

Contact info:

The Honourable Peter MacKay
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H8
Email: [email protected]

Find contact info for your MP here.

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