Doctors should be able to help terminally patients to die, say Quebec MPs

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 29 March 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e2428
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. 1Montreal

The Canadian province of Quebec should change its laws to allow physician assisted dying in certain cases of incurable disease and stop prosecuting doctors who, in good conscience, help such patients to die, according to a cross party report from the provincial legislature.

If enacted, as seems likely, the changes would make Quebec the fourth and largest jurisdiction in North America to permit physician assisted death in tightly controlled circumstances, after the western states of Washington, Oregon, and Montana.

The Quebec report, Dying with Dignity, is careful to avoid the terms physician assisted suicide or euthanasia, preferring the phrase “medical aid to die.”

“We chose those words because we’re talking about a medical environment only,” said commission …

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