Doctors Group to Challenge Quebec Euthanasia Law in Courts

International   |   Alex Schadenberg   |   Nov 6, 2015   |   5:38PM   |   Quebec City, Quebec

The Quebec group, Coalition of Physicians for Social Justice and Lisa D’Amico, a woman with a disability, have launched a legal challenge to the Quebec euthanasia law that is scheduled to begin on December 10.

The Canadian Press reported that Domique Talarico, the lawyer for the group stated that:

“The Supreme Court has not ruled on the Quebec law, has not addressed the Quebec law, because that law was not part of the questions to be decided,”

Talarico said that a patient’s consent cannot be free and informed if they have not been offered all palliative care options, which is not always the case in the province due to a lack of accessibility to certain treatments, drugs and services.

“The actual state of the health system, disease screening, the state of health care and palliative care in Quebec are possibly more deficient than anywhere else in Canada. The context of care is part of the totality of evidence to be presented to Superior Court,”

Dr Paul Saba, the leader of the group stated:

“As a doctor, I can’t accept something that is non-medical, non-scientific,”

“It even goes against my code of ethics in Quebec. Under the code of ethics, if we have treatments to offer or an operation, we must always use the least dangerous.”

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The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition hopes that the Quebec court will fast-track this case based on the fact that lethal injections will be able to begin occurring on December 10 this year. Note: Alex Schadenberg is the executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and you can read his blog here.