Euthanasia Rate in Quebec Vastly Higher Than Expected


The number of deaths due to euthanasia or assisted suicide in Quebec since “medical assistance in dying” was legalised there was three times higher than expected, according to the province’s health minister.


“I mentioned many times that I was expecting about 100,” Minister Gaétan Barrette told a news conference. “It’s almost three times that. Actually, in a one year period it will be over 300.”


The province’s first official statistics show that since the law came into effect on December 10, 2015, 262 people had died.


The report says that 87 people requested euthanasia but it was not administered: 36 of them did not meet the criteria set out in thes law, 24 people changed their minds, 21 died first, one postponed it, and five requests are still being processed.


On a per capita basis, more died in Quebec (45) than Montreal (54), whose population is three times as big. Barrette attributed this to the greater proportion of Montreal’s population made up of people belonging to “more religious” ethnic minorities.


The minister claimed that the system is operating “very, very, very well”, with all safeguards firmly in place. This is despite the fact that about 8% of the deaths were, technically speaking, illegal.

British Medical Journal. November 23. BioEdge. November 5

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