Bill 52 - "An Act respecting end-of-life care," was tabled this past June 12, 2013, in the National Assembly, days prior to the end of the legislative session.
In today's opinion section of the Gazette, two professionals speak out against this legislation, arguing that its goal is nothing other than active euthanasia.
A couple points which Dr. Marc Beauchamp and Me. Michel Racicot make about the bill include:
1. its use of misleading language
[T]he government terminology is not based on any semantic recognition in known literature, or in our country's case law. (...)
Bill 52 introduces the concept of "terminal palliative sedation" a concept not defined in the bill, and one that causes a lot of confusion. Inasmuch as the goal of such sedation is to cause death, not to relive pain, it is also another form of active euthanasia.
It therefore appears clear that the bill essentially aims, using this newly invented terminology, to eliminate a prohibition ... on a physician voluntarily ending a patient's life.
2. mistaken notion of compassionate
[The government argues that not permitting] euthanasia would be a sign of a lack of compassion on the part of medical staff. Such an affirmation, false and otherwise improper, undermines the recognition of all those who provide care, with humanity and dedication, to suffering patients in Quebec, and who believe the medical staff should not offer euthanasia to end-of-life patients, or cause their death.
The writers, one representing the Physicians' Alliance for Total Refusal of Euthanasia and the other a board member of Living with Dignity Citizens' Network, make several more points before urging elected officials to "share the responsibility for protecting the population" and vote against this law.