In Quebec, medical aid in dying considered before palliative care?

Publié le 18 Dec, 2018

A ground-breaking study published in La Presse [1] reveals that in Quebec, some patients received Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD) before other end-of-life options were offered to them.


According to the study, “when MAiD was legalized in Quebec three years ago, the clinical guidelines recommended that MAiD remain an exceptional option”, in other words, it should be offered only after having considered “all appropriate care and treatment options”. However, in the majority of cases studied, “the patients obtained a palliative care consult less than seven days before requesting MAiD. In some cases, the palliative care consult took place after the MAiD request”.


This study is being published at a time when many are denouncing the lack of access to quality palliative care in Quebec. Some fear that patients may opt for MAiD because of the difficulty in accessing palliative care.



[1] Study entitled “Situating Requests for Medical Aid in Dying Within the Broader Context of End-of-Life-Care: Ethical Considerations”, by Lori Seller, Marie-Ève Bouthillier and Véronique Fraser, published in English in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

La presse CA, Caroline Touzin (6/12/18)

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