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Quebec Considers Killing Dementia Patients Without Consent

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Red leafg and white crossby Lianne Laurence,

The Quebec government is opening public consultations on allowing doctors to euthanize sick people with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other degenerative diseases who are no longer able to give their consent.

Coalition Avenir Québec’s Health minister Danielle McCann announced at a press conference last week that all parties support consultations on the recommendations of an expert panel that spent 18 months studying the issue of prior consent, reported the Montreal Gazette.

The panel recommended that individuals who received a diagnosis of a serious and incurable illness, including Alzheimer’s or dementia, can give an advance directive to be killed at some future time when they are no longer competent to consent.

It also recommended “authorizing a third party to inform physicians of the existence of a prior consent in the event a person loses their faculties. The third party authorization would be kept in a government registry as a permanent record,” the Gazette reported.

Quebec’s current euthanasia law specifies that Quebecers cannot be euthanized unless they fulfill all the following criteria: They are at least 18 years of age; suffer from a serious, incurable illness; are in an advanced state of irreversible decline in capability; experience constant and unbearable physical or psychological suffering that cannot be relieved in a way they deem tolerable; are at the end of life; and can give informed consent.

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