Euthanasia soars at alarming rate in Quebec. Are some being illegally killed?

In 2021, a recorded 3,102 people died in Quebec of fatal lethal injections, making it the world’s “euthanasia hotspot.” That number leapt a staggering 55 percent last year to 4,810, meaning that between seven percent and eight percent of all recorded deaths in the province are through euthanasia. Doctor-administered lethal injections are now the leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer, and the rate shows no sign of slowing.

Those numbers appear to be alarming even to advocates of the radically permissive euthanasia regime. Dr. Michael Bureau, president of Quebec’s commission “on end-of-life care” (a grotesque euphemism for death-by-doctor), sent out a memo on August 4 that, according to the CBC, reminds “the province’s doctors to closely follow a new law affecting medical aid in dying (MAiD).”

The new law, which allows people with “serious and incurable diseases” to apply for euthanasia before their condition deteriorates, passed in June. “Each time there is a modification in the law, there is certain confusion among the physicians providing MAiD,” Bureau stated. “They question, ‘Is it within the boundaries of the law, is it permitted or not? At times, [physicians] don’t really know if they are right or not, and at times they’re not.”

This is a tacit admission that some of those being approved for euthanasia are not actually eligible. In fact, Bureau explicitly notes in his memo that people applying for euthanasia because of old age are not eligible, and that a second, independent physician’s opinion is legally required. According to the CBC, Bureau noted that “any deviation from the rules can be a slippery slope, especially as the commission is seeing an increased number of requests for MAiD” – a staggering 500 every month, of which only two or three allegedly do not meet the eligibility requirements.

“It is too early to conclude that there has been a drift in the MAiDs administered, but great rigor is required for providers and great vigilance for the commission,” Bureau wrote. The memo stated that false information about advanced directives had been going around; that some euthanasia applicants were not being given enough time to consider their decision, with more space being necessary between doctor’s appointments; and that “shopping around for a favorable second opinion is not an acceptable practice.”

According to the commission, 15 euthanasia deaths in 2021-22 did not follow the rules, six of which involved victims who do not suffer from a serious or incurable condition. Despite the banal, bureaucratic language, it is important not to miss the implications of this news: Six people were killed by doctor-administered lethal injections who failed to meet even Quebec’s loose criteria. In a civilized country, this would be headline news and provoke widespread horror. But a few “slipping through the cracks” – that is, a few extra people killed – is apparently an acceptable price to pay for our euthanasia regime.


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