Jan 16, 2013

By Jane Brown

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It’s a boost to Canada’s dying with dignity movement.  A panel of legal experts in Quebec says terminally ill patients should be given medical assistance to die.

Under the recommendations, patients themselves would have to make the request to a doctor on the basis of unbearable physical or psychological suffering.

Two physicians would then have to approve the request, which would have to be made in writing.

Quebec’s Junior Health Minister says  her province’s government can now pass a law with strict guidelines that respects the wishes of the dying to shorten their suffering and provide doctors with a clear legal framework.

The recommendations follow a landmark report from last March that suggested doctors be allowed in exceptional circumstances to help the terminally ill die if that is what the patients want.  The founder of this radio station is an advocate of this movement.  Moses Znaimer is the co-lead patron, along with actor Christopher Plummer, of Dying with Dignity.

Euthanasia and assisted suicide are illegal in Canada under the Criminal Code.

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