Quebec to table bill legalizing medically supervised euthanasia

Medically supervised euthanasia may soon become accessible in Quebec, which would make the province the first in Canada to legislate on the highly controversial issue.

A bill to be tabled on Wednesday is expected to legislate the right to request “medical aid to die” in response to a report that argued that, since medical assistance is used to prolong life, dying patients should also be able to ask for it under strict conditions to end life.

The proposal was the centrepiece of a report entitled Dying with Dignity that was tabled in March, 2012. It was prepared by a non-partisan select committee that consulted widely on the issue.

The opposition Liberal Party has indicated support in principle for the idea, but a party official said that, given the sensitive nature of the debate that will likely ensue, the caucus will examine the contents of the bill carefully before adopting a final position.

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