Magazine article Inroads: A Journal of Opinion

From Quebec's Bill 52: An Act Respecting End-of-Life Care

Magazine article Inroads: A Journal of Opinion

From Quebec's Bill 52: An Act Respecting End-of-Life Care

Article excerpt

DIVISION II--MEDICAL AID IN DYING

26. Only a patient who meets the following criteria may obtain medical aid in dying:

(1) be of full age, be capable of giving consent to care and be an insured person within the meaning of the Health Insurance Act (chapter A-29);

(2) suffer from an incurable serious illness;

(3) suffer from an advanced state of irreversible decline in capability; and

(4) suffer from constant and unbearable physical or psychological pain which cannot be relieved in a manner the person deems tolerable.

The patient must request medical aid in dying themselves, in a free and informed manner, by means of the form prescribed by the Minister. The form must be dated and signed by the patient or, if the patient is physically incapable of doing so, by a third person. The third person may not be a minor or an incapable person of full age or a member of the team responsible for caring for the patient.

The form must be signed in the presence of a health or social services professional who countersigns it; if the professional countersigning is not the attending physician, the signed form is given to the attending physician.

22. A patient may, at any time and by any means, withdraw their request for medical aid in dying.

28. Before administering medical aid in dying, the physician must

(1) be of the opinion that the patient meets the criteria of section 26, after, among other things,

(a) making sure that the request is being made freely and without any external pressure;

(b) making sure that the request is an informed one, in particular by informing the patient of the prognostic and of other therapeutic possibilities and their consequences;

(c) verifying the persistence of suffering and that the wish to obtain medical aid in dying remains unchanged, by talking to the patient at reasonably spaced intervals given progress of the patient's condition;

(d) discussing the patient's request with any members of the care team who are in regular contact with the patient; and

(e) discussing the patient's request with the patient's close relations, if the patient so wishes;

(2) make sure that the patient has had the opportunity to discuss the request with the persons they wished to contact; and

(3) obtain the opinion of a second physician confirming that the criteria set out in section 26 have been met. …

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