Some Quebec doctors are beginning to fight back against a drive for legalised euthanasia. Earlier this week, Physicians Alliance for the Total Refusal of Euthanasia (PATRE) organised a conference to influence an upcoming debate in the province’s parliament. Most of PATRE’s 317 member doctors hail from Quebec.
The keynote speaker, Dr Patrick Vinay, the director of a prominent palliative care service, argued that “euthanasia through lethal injection is not a form of care, but rather the definitive end of all care. Patients should never be forced to give up their right to be treated and cared for”. Drs Catherine Ferrier and Marc Beauchamp also took the floor, rejecting “a process through which physicians would lose all professional judgment and become legally bound to kill their patients on demand rather than to alleviate their suffering to the best of their abilities”.
A draft euthanasia bill is due to be proposed in the Quebec parliament later this year, following the publication of the Menard report in January. It recommended specific amendments to Quebec’s laws to make euthanasia legal and safe.