Quebec becomes first province to legalize Right-to-Die
Quebec province in Canada has become the first province to legalize doctor-assisted death as part of comprehensive end-of-life legislation.
The National Assembly passed Bill 52, an Act respecting end-of-life care. The Bill was passed with 80% votes is favor. Those who voted against were all Liberals.
The law stipulates the conditions in which a terminally ill adult patient who is of sound mind may request continuous palliative sedation that would lead to death. To access this right, patients would need to be terminally ill and should be in “an advanced state of irreversible decline in capacities.” They would also have to be in constant and unbearable physical and psychological pain that doctors would view as impossible to relieve through medication.
The procedure for making the request would be overseen by the attending physician and approved through consultation with the hospital’s medical team. A patient could at any time withdraw a signed request for medical aid in dying.
The contentious issue is being widely debated across the country. The law will take effect at the end of 2015.