Quebec to launch euthanasia consultation

The Quebec government has agreed to reopen the euthanasia debate. It plans to organise travelling consultations about assisted suicide after consulting about 20 experts. It will also prepare a discussion paper to guide the discussions. "I don't think there's any risk in launching a reflection," Health Minister Yves Bolduc says. "It's a complex question and opinions are divided, but I think there's a consensus and that is that everyone would want to die with dignity and want their loved ones to die with dignity. Now we need to consider ways to make that happen and help improve people's situation."

The government is responding to a demand by the opposition Parti Quebecois for a public consultation. "People are suffering. Doctors want guidelines," says PQ member Bernard Drainville. "We need to give ourselves a framework. People are asking for it, it's a human issue, a moral issue." The PQ claims that it is responding to surveys showing that medical specialists (which does not include general practitioners) favour reopening the debate. ~ Canadian Press, Dec 6

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