“End of life care”: is Quebec adopting a liberal approach against Ottawa’s advice?

Publié le : 30 May 2014

 On 12 June 2013, the Social Services Minister presented a draft law aimed at authorising euthanasia in Quebec in the form of medically assisted dying – a first for Canada (Gènéthique press review on June 10th, 2013). Since then, this bill has been the subject of lively criticism, especially amongst the medical profession (Gènéthqiue press review on October 10th, 2014). 

If Quebec intends to adopt its draft bill this summer, then Ottawa wants to make its displeasure known. Whilst “Quebec talks about end-of-life medical care, Ottawa […] prefers to use terms such as ‘assisted suicide’ and ‘euthanasia’ “.

The spokesperson for the Federal Minister of Justice, Peter MacKay, commented as follows in an e-mail: “The question of assisted suicide triggers considerable emotions and divisions for many Canadians. Our government believes that the provisions of the Criminal Code banning assisted suicide and euthanasia serve to protect people, including the more vulnerable people in our society“. 

As far as Prime Minister, Philippe Couillard, who comes from Quebec, is concerned, this bill “is up to Quebec, not Ottawa“. 

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