By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
A survey of Québec physicians indicates that the euthanasia law, which is scheduled to take effect in December, will be abused by Québec physicians.
The National Post recently reported that a recent survey of Québec physicians found that:
- 34.6 per cent of respondents believed they would be able to administer or prescribe lethal medication to an incompetent patient upon a relative’s request.
The survey also found that Québec physicians were confused about the right to refuse medical treatment. Even though the right to refuse medical treatment was clarified in 1992 by the Nancy B case the survey found that:
- One in three family doctors, and 42 per cent of specialists (including doctors working in anesthesiology, surgery, internal medicine, urology and neurology) were confused about the current legal status of treatment withdrawal.
Further to that, even though a previous survey claimed that a majority Québec physicians supported euthanasia, the recent survey found that:
- only 39.5 per cent believed that, in the event medical aid in dying were legalized, the use of lethal medication would be permitted at the patient’s request.
A recently published study concerning the practice of euthanasia in 2013 in Belgium found that:
- 4.6% of all deaths were euthanasia;
- 1.7% of all deaths (more than 1000 per year) were hastened without request;
- nearly half of all euthanasia deaths were not reported.
It appears that Québec, and the rest of Canada, are following the same path as Belgium where the euthanasia law is abused, where euthanasia occurs without request, where euthanasia deaths are often not reported, and where euthanasia occurs for people who are depressed or experiencing psychiatric issues.