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Opinion

Euthanasia deaths jumped up last year in Quebec

Alex Schadenberg Alex Schadenberg Follow Alex

May 25, 2018 (Euthanasia Prevention Coalition) – A report compiled by Sean Murphy, administrator for the Protection of Conscience Project, indicates that the number of euthanasia deaths (MAiD) increased by 67% in 2017 in Québec.

Murphy published the euthanasia data from Dec 10, 2015 to Dec 10, 2017, comparing the data from the 2016 to the 2017 deaths.

Murphy's indicates that there were 454 reported euthanasia deaths in 2016 and 757 reported euthanasia deaths in 2017 in Québec. Thus in 2017 1.2% of all deaths were by euthanasia (lethal injection).

Murphy's data summary is very important because the law required that the agencies responsible for euthanasia in Québec were required to report, twice yearly, for the first two years and at that point the reporting requirement would end.

Amy Hasbrouck, the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition President and founder of the disability rights group Toujours Vivant – Not Dead Yet, analysed the (October 2017) euthanasia report and found significant problems with the reporting of euthanasia in Québec. Hasbrouck indicated the following concerns:

  • 37% of forms/reports from doctors, and an unnamed percentage of reports from institutions, needed more information. Some doctors openly refused to provide the additional information requested by the Commission.
  • The three cases in which the safeguards were clearly violated (two where the person did not have a "serious and incurable illness" and one where the person was not at the "end of life")were not addressed as the crimes that they are.
  • The commission could not decide compliance in 19 cases (3%).
  • 5% of the cases did not respect the law
  • A 5% or 7% error rate (with 3% undetermined) would not be acceptable where lives depended on the effective application of safeguards (e.g. the airline industry).

The greatest concern is the fact that Québec legalized euthanasia by defining it as a form of medical treatment. Lethal injection is not a form of medical treatment and it is not palliative care. Euthanasia is the abandonment of a person at the greatest time of need.

Published with permission from the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

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