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Numerous ineligible victims were among the thousands of patients Quebec has euthanized: Oversight body
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Numerous ineligible victims were among the thousands of patients Quebec has euthanized: Oversight body

The commission that monitors the practice of state-administered euthanasia in Quebec sent out a memo earlier this month reminding doctors that they are only to help exterminate human beings who satisfy the Canadian province's criteria for so-called "medical assistance in dying."

This reminder was apparently necessary because some doctors have reportedly flouted the rules, euthanizing individuals who couldn't consent along with patients who were ineligible for various other reasons.

Last year, there were nearly 5,000 cases of doctor-assisted suicides in Quebec, which has been touted as the world's "euthanasia capital."

Canadian state media indicated that by year's end, an estimated 7% of all deaths in Quebec will have been the result of doctor-assisted suicides.

That's 4.5 times more than Switzerland, 3 times more than Belgium, and over twice the Canadian national average, according to Dr. Michel Bureau, head of Quebec's Commission on End of Life Care, which monitors the practice in the province and reports back to the legislature.

"We're now no longer dealing with an exceptional treatment, but a treatment that is very frequent," Bureau told state media.

Bureau's commission has learned that a disturbing number of ineligible patients have recently had their lives snuffed out by government physicians.

Between spring 2021 and spring 2022, at least 15 out of 3,663 state-facilitated suicides were reportedly not in accordance with the law.

In at least six of those cases, patients had not satisfied the criteria for lethal injection. In another three cases, those exterminated had reportedly been unable to consent.

The Daily Mail reported that the number of "non-compliant" state-facilitated suicides in 2022-2023 has not yet been accounted for; however, Bureau indicated that for every 500 euthanasia requests, there are roughly three that do not meet provincial guidelines.

Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, has suggested the number of unlawful euthanasia deaths is likely far higher granted the "reporting procedure requires the doctor who carried out the euthanasia death to also report the euthanasia death. This self-reporting system enables doctors to 'cover-up' controversial euthanasia deaths."

The Canadian Supreme Court unanimously decided in 2015 to permit doctors to help kill their patients. In June 2016, the federal government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau passed the Medical Assistance in Dying Act, legalizing the practice nationwide.

Originally, those seeking state-facilitated death were required to be at least 18 years of age with a "grievous and irremediable medical condition" causing "enduring physical or psychological suffering that is intolerable" to them. Additionally, they had to be in an "advanced state of irreversible decline," with death a likely outcome in the foreseeable future.

A Quebec Superior Court judge ruled in 2019 that people who were suffering but not dying also had a constitutional right to be put down.

The rules have been loosened ever since, allowing those with PTSD, depression, anxiety, and other survivable issues to be put down.

In June, Quebec adopted a new law that allowed people with "a serious and incurable disease, such as Alzheimer's," to apply to have the government off them years in advance.

The legislation also granted access to euthanasia for people with significant and persistent disabilities who were otherwise healthy and enabled government doctors to execute consenting patients in places other than hospitals, reported Reuters.

The commission's Aug. 4 memo stated, "It is too early to conclude that there has been a drift in the MAiDs administered, but great rigor is required for providers and great vigilance for the commission."

The memo circulated by the Quebec's commission on End of Life Care provided reminders to doctors that:

  • the mere fact of old age does not qualify an individual for assisted suicide;
  • "the opinion of a second independent physician confirming the admissibility of MAiD is not just a formality[,] it must be critical and contemporaneous with the MAiD application";
  • patients should be given "spaced out" appointments and ample time to make sound decisions; and
  • doctors are to close files on a case upon an application's rejection.

These and other reminders appear to have been necessary, especially since doctors in the province are hawkish on whom they can kill.

For instance, Dr. Louis Roy, speaking on behalf of the Quebec College of Physicians, told the government last October that babies with "severe malformations" and "grave and severe syndromes" should be eligible for the eugenicist's needle notwithstanding their inability to consent, reported the National Post.

Extra to targeting the weak, the voiceless and the infirm, one Canadian hospital recently raised the possibility of MAiD when dealing with a woman seeking psychiatric help.

These clarifications are critical, suggested Bureau, because "[a]t times, [physicians] don't know really if they are right or not and at times, they're not," owing to the ever-changing legal landscape.

The Quebec College of Physicians has indicated that none of the 15 cases referenced by the commission have been referred to its internal disciplinary board.

In light of these revelations, the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition has asked why "none of the doctors have been sanctioned for killing patients outside of the law."

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Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.
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