Québec euthanasia deaths higher than expected

by Alex Schadenberg, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, 1 November 2016

Mr Schadenberg analyses reports from Quebec that the legalisation of euthanasia in Canada is following the sad and predictable examples of the Netherlands and Belgium:

  1. the numbers are much higher than people were told
  2. even the paperwork is not being completed properly in all cases
  3. nobody is being held to account

The Québec euthanasia commission has reported that during the first 7 months of the euthanasia law there were 262 reported euthanasia deaths, a number that is much higher than expected. The annual report of the commission is based on euthanasia deaths from Dec 10 to June 30, 2016.

Caroline Plante reported in The Montreal Gazette that Québec’s Health Minister, Gaétan Barrette, seemed surprised by the number of deaths:

He expressed surprise that since the law came into effect Dec. 10, 2015, 262 people have resorted to what the provincial government calls “end-of-life care” and what Ottawa refers to as voluntary euthanasia. 

“I mentioned many times that I was expecting about 100,” 

“It’s almost three times that. Actually, on a one-year period, it will be over 300 … that in itself is surprising to me.” 

Ingrid Peritz reported in The Globe and Mail that of the 262 deaths, 21 failed to meet the legal requirements of the law: 

The report found that of the cases it examined, 21 failed to meet the legal restrictions. 

The vast majority of those – 18 – involved questions about the independence of the second doctor who is required to sign off on the assisted death. Mr. Barrette said the problem often arises in smaller communities where doctors know one another. 

Of the remaining three cases, two were instances in which assisted death was administered without proving the patient was at the end of life. In one case, it wasn’t proven that the patient was facing a serious and incurable illness, as required under the law. 

All 21 cases have been referred to Quebec’s College of Physicians, which will review them, a spokeswoman said.

And if the ‘review’ decides there were errors, will any of those 21 people be brought back?

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