This is a first in Quebec since the adoption of law 52 authorising medically assisted dying: a palliative care centre, namely Maison Aube Lumière de Sherbrooke, will authorise “medically assisted dying with effect from 1 February 2016”.
“Medically assisted dying will be available under exceptional circumstances. Patients must be suffering in such a way that the care programme is no longer enough to ease their pain”. According to Elisabeth Brière, President of the Administrative Board of Maison Aube Lumière, this will be a last resort.
The institution’s General Manager, Marie Bécotte explained that, “Patients must request this option” as opposed to being offered it. In order for a patient to have access to euthanasia, “two doctors must have assessed the patient’s aptitude [in advance] according to a list of criteria before administering the lethal injection”.
Elisabeth Brière added that, “This must be a personal choice, requested by the patient, and this is why the process should be transparent”.
Medically assisted dying will be introduced as from 1 February 2016. Between now and then, staff and volunteers will be trained at the centre and euthanasia protocols will be put into place.
Journal de Montréal (03/11/2015) – Radio Canada International (03/11/2015)