Canadian Political Party Proposes Euthanizing Alzheimer’s Patients

International   |   Alex Schadenberg   |   Sep 21, 2018   |   12:58PM   |   Quebec City, Quebec

The Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) says that if they are elected on October 1, they will increase provincial funding for Alzheimer’s research by $5 million a year and host public consultations on advanced consent for medically assisted deaths for those with Alzheimer’s and related diseases.

René Bruemmer reporting for the Montreal Gazette that CAQ candidates Marguerite Blais and François Bonnardel announced in St-Sauveur on Monday morning the parties intention to increase funding for Alzheimer’s research and extending euthanasia to people with Alzheimer’s. The article states:

Bonnardel’s mother suffers from Alzheimer’s, and he has said he would support a law that would allow a person to request a medically assisted death through prior consent in a living will.

“I see my mother, today, it’s 15 years (that she has had Alzheimer’s). Do I want to die like her? No… I want the choice to decide. I think a large majority of Quebecers want this choice.”

… we want to open this debate for the 125,000 families who live with Alzheimer’s daily,” Bonnardel said. “We will do it because we have to do it. It’s a question of dignity.”

In July 2018, a Dutch doctor was reprimanded for euthanizing a woman with dementia who resisted. According to the case:

The doctor secretly placed a soporific in her coffee to calm her, and then had started to give her a lethal injection.

Yet while injecting the woman she woke up, and fought the doctor. The paperwork showed that the only way the doctor could complete the injection was by getting family members to help restrain her.

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It (the paperwork) also revealed that the patient said several times ‘I don’t want to die‘ in the days before she was put to death, and that the doctor had not spoken to her about what was planned because she did not want to cause unnecessary extra distress. She also did not tell her about what was in her coffee as it was also likely to cause further disruptions to the planned euthanasia process.

Canada’s federal government announced in December 2016 that they had commissioned studies into the issues of euthanasia for children, euthanasia for people with psychiatric conditions alone and euthanasia for people with Alzheimer’s/Dementia if they request euthanasia for this condition while competent.

If you permit euthanasia for people who had previously stated that they wanted to die by lethal injection, but who are now incompetent, you are denying these people the right to change their mind.

Similar to the case in the Netherlands you cannot assume that the previous wishes of a person remain the current wish of the person. Note: Alex Schadenberg is the executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and you can read his blog here.