Intended for healthcare professionals


“Euthanasia kits” are prepared for Quebec doctors as palliative care centres rebel on right to die

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 07 September 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h4801
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. 1Montreal

New guidelines from the Collège des Médecins du Québec explain how doctors will provide medical aid in dying to terminally ill patients who request it, when Canada’s second largest province becomes North America’s biggest right to die jurisdiction on December 10.

Physicians will be able to end a patient’s life with three sequential injections: a benzodiazepine sedative to relieve anxiety, a barbiturate to induce coma, and a curare-type neuromuscular block to stop the heart and respiration. Special kits containing all three drugs, back-up doses, and detailed instructions will be prepared by pharmacists on a patient by patient basis and will be available to all licensed physicians.

The college decided that doctors should administer the drugs intravenously rather than simply prescribe an oral drug. Yves Robert, secretary of the college, said that …

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