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CCRL warns against new euthanasia push in Quebec

Kris Dmytrenko

January 18, 2013
Quebec National Assembly - Credit: Christophe Finot/Wikimedia Commons
The world was shocked by the news out of Belgium that 45-year-old deaf twins chose to be euthanized after learning that they were losing their vision. The case epitomized the “slippery slope” that euthanasia opponents have been warning about. Euthanasia is usually advocated using the example of terminally-ill patients in unbearable pain who give full consent. However, in some countries where euthanasia has been introduced, the conditions of terminal illness, untreatable pain, and even conscious consent are no longer required.
Yet despite this recent history, euthanasia is now on the verge of being introduced in Quebec. Following the recommendations of a panel of three lawyers, Quebec’s junior health minister plans to introduce legislation to permit euthanasia in specified, limited circumstances.
In response, the Catholic Civil Rights League is warning that “any liberalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide laws leads inevitably to the abuse of such laws, targeting the ill and the disabled.”
According to the CCRL, support for euthanasia is often motivated by misinformation about the rights that patients already have to refuse treatment. They also note the two-fold problem of lack of awareness of palliative care measures to manage pain, made worse by the absence of palliative care facilities in parts of Canada.
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Photo credit: Christophe Finot/Wikimedia Commons