Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Quebec's End-of-Life Care Act Online

CBC's web site has the English-language version of Quebec's End-of-Life Care Act.

The Quebec approach differs from that of Vermont, Oregon, Washington and Montana where the terminally ill patient can obtain a prescription for a life-ending drug.

The Quebec approach would have a physician administer the lethal drug following completion of a series of safeguards.

Having delved at some length into the Oregon Death with Dignity Act and the state's experience of it over many years, I think the American approach is far superior.

In Oregon, the terminally ill resident has to go through a careful and somewhat elaborate series of interviews and safeguards to qualify for a prescription for life-ending drugs.   From there on the dying person is in complete control of the process.   The prescription need not be filled and often is not.  If the prescription is filled the individual need not take it and often does not.

It is precisely because many prescriptions aren't filled and many that are will not be taken that the American approach is superior.  Just having the option is quite often enough to help those facing death endure the ordeal.   For these people it relieves the fear of having to go through an unendurable agony of death.   They can indeed have a natural death, if that is bearable, but on their own terms.

Quite frankly I don't care what religious superstition you cleave to but you and your religion are monstrous if, on that basis, you seek to deny others a compassionate, serene end of life.   Do whatever you choose but don't impose your religious views to tell someone else how they must die.


Purple library guy said...

Agreed. An approach in which the dying person controls the process all the way through is much better.

The Mound of Sound said...

I wonder,PLG, why Quebec chose to go a different route? Did they find something in the American approach unsatisfactory? Did they think their physician-administered system somehow better? I haven't read anything suggesting that the American method has a history of errors or botched procedures.