Quebec euthanasia debate fires up

A small group of medical specialists has spoken out against euthanasia in the lead-up to a Quebec-wide conference on the controversial procedure, warning that past attempts at legislation in other countries have been failures. A provincial legislature committee is set to travel to 11 cities in Quebec to confer with the public on the controversial practice, in which terminal patients ask doctors to help them die.

The province’s Federation of Medical Specialists has given public support for government legislation on euthanasia for “exceptional circumstances”, saying that the procedure is already happening throughout Quebec. A small group of medical specialists based in Montreal, however, disagrees.

"I think that ultimately, we're going to go down a slippery slope, where eventually, what patients purport to want, which is autonomy of decision-making, will be lost," Paola Diadori, a pediatric neurologist at the St-Justine Hospital, said last week. "Patients need care. And we need to be responsible for providing the care that they need. I don't think that it's good medicine to have physicians end these people's lives. That's not caring for them. That's basically just getting rid of a person."

"What's going to happen is by euthanasia, we give doctors the power to kill," José Morais, a geriatrics specialist, added. "I think there are consequences to that. Patients would start thinking, or questioning the intentions of their doctors.” He added that proper palliative care can be a reasonable option for the terminally ill.

Doctors worry that the public is ill-informed. "It could work for a while, but then it will be trivialized, and that is the slippery slope," warned Dr Joseph Ayoub, a Montreal palliative care oncologist. "We've seen that happen in Holland." ~ CBC News, Aug 26

comments powered by Disqus

 Search BioEdge

 Subscribe to BioEdge newsletter
rss Subscribe to BioEdge RSS feed

 Recent Posts
Planned Parenthood fires its president
21 Jul 2019
What the world needs is more surrogacy. ASAP!
21 Jul 2019
Lancet editor calls global health groups ‘ethical cowards’
21 Jul 2019
‘The last frontier in prison reform’: assisted suicide?
21 Jul 2019
California’s stem cell institute may close doors
21 Jul 2019

Home | About Us | Contact Us | rss RSS | Archive | Bookmark and Share |

BioEdge - New Media Foundation Ltd © 2004 - 2019