In the Canadian province of Quebec, which has a population of around 8.5 million inhabitants, euthanasia has been legal since December 2015, but each year the number of deaths backed by this law has continued to rise. A report that takes stock of the three years of legalization of euthanasia was recently presented in the Quebec Parliament, showing that, since it has been in force, 1,664 people have been euthanized. According to the report, 845 people died in 9 months (from July 2017 to March 2018), compared to 638 in the previous 12 months (July 2016 to June 2017). A significant increase can thus be observed in the number of people who have been euthanized in this region of eastern Canada (see HERE ).
Is the option of last-minute compatible with euthanasia moral considerations?
Why do palliative care stakeholders in Canada have been largely opposed to euthanasia?
A large study reported by three Quebec bioethicists in the Journal of Medical Ethics, observed that the law on euthanasia is becoming the first instance, and not the last, for many patients. The report affirms that Despite professional practice guidelines stipulating that MAiD (medical-aid-in-dying) should be treated as an option of last recourse, in some cases, requests for MAID serve instead as instigators for discussion about end-of-life care, including discussion and initiation of treatment limitations and a palliative care approach. Requests for and provision of MAiD as documented in the chart can occur abruptly and without a documented evolution of the goals of care which may imply that requests for MAiD are not treated as having particular moral considerations but merely administrative or legal ones. (see MORE https://jme.bmj.com/content/45/1/48).