Intended for healthcare professionals


Assisted dying: Doctors in Quebec aren’t bending rules, says medical leader

BMJ 2023; 382 doi: (Published 01 September 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;382:p2023
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

The Collège des Médecins du Québec, the professional association of the province’s doctors, has defended its members after a memo from the organisation that monitors medically assisted dying in the province suggested that some doctors were providing the service to people outside the law.

Michel Bureau, the head of the Commission on End of Life Care in Quebec, sent a memo to doctors in August to remind them of the criteria for eligibility, including the fact that “old age” alone is not a valid reason to seek medically assisted dying. It emphasised that the requirement for a second doctor’s opinion was not a mere formality and that practitioners should avoid “doctor shopping” for an agreeable second opinion.1

The memo noted that the commission’s last report, covering April 2021 to April 2022, found 15 cases in which it concluded that the law had not been respected, out of 3663 physician assisted deaths in Quebec.2

The …

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