Bill 52 - A dangerous and discriminatory bill

MONTREAL, June 12, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The Physicians' Alliance for Total Refusal of Euthanasia and the Living with Dignity (LWD) network strongly condemn the bill tabled today by the Marois government. Under pressure from small but persistent lobby groups, the government is pushing Quebecers onto a dangerous path by creating a so-called "right to die".

The experience of three countries and four American states that have already legalized euthanasia or assisted suicide give us a clear warning against any « medical aid in dying » project.  Dr Yves Robert, secretary of the College of Physicians of Quebec, said clearly in an interview quoted in L'Actualité médicale on January 29, 2013: "Let's call a spade a spade. 'Medical aid in dying' is euthanasia".

Euthanasia is nothing less than killing a person intentionally and directly, for reasons of false compassion. The Physicians' Alliance and LWD encourage all citizens opposed to this practice to contact their MNAs and to express their point of view also in the media. Killing is never health care.

According to retired lawyer Michel Racicot of Living with Dignity, it is important to remember that "Quebecers already have the right to refuse or to discontinue treatment. They already have the right to say "no" to overtreatment and to receive effective painkillers and, if necessary, sedation to reduce their pain. These actions have nothing to do with euthanasia."

This government bill is unnecessary, says Dr. Marc Beauchamp of the Physicians' Alliance: « It is dangerous, discriminatory and opposed to social justice. At a time when Quebecers are rightly concerned about the scourge of elder abuse, it would be very naïve to think that euthanasia, the ultimate abuse, will not become a growing threat to the most vulnerable."

The Physicians' Alliance for Total Refusal of Euthanasia and the Living with Dignity network are struggling to ensure absolute security for all patients admitted to hospitals. They are also vigorously challenging this government bill which makes it possible to kill citizens weakened by illness within the public health system in Québec. Advanced medical skills and technology are very effective and should be placed at the service of all patients: good palliative care is needed for all, throughout Québec. Requests for death are cries for help and they demand loving care, not the irrevocable act of euthanasia.

Killing has no place in health care in Quebec. This bill has been developed through a process that is neither just nor credible. Those who face death every day, the caregivers, know what great harm such a law will cause to patients, families and caregivers. Even when the time remaining is short it is of great value. Respect for human life even as it nears its end is a basic principle in our society, one that is part of our foundational Charters.

There is no doubt that this government bill opens the door wide to court challenges from Québec groups and from the Federal government.

SOURCE: The Physicians' Alliance for Total Refusal of Euthanasia

For further information:

Follow us on Twitter at @collectifmed and @vivredignite

Source:  the Physicians' Alliance for Total Refusal of Euthanasia and the Living with Dignity citizens' network.

For additional information or to schedule an interview with the spokespersons, please contact :

Elaine Mayrand
Massy Forget Langlois Public Relations
514 718-2124

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The Physicians' Alliance for Total Refusal of Euthanasia

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Living with Dignity

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