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Montreal, June 7, 2023

The Physicians’ Alliance against Euthanasia joins the Living with Dignity citizen network in expressing its great disappointment that Bill 11, An Act to amend the Act respecting end-of-life care and other legislative provisions, was adopted this morning by so many votes. Numerous expansions of access to medical aid in dying will come into effect over the coming months:

- the obligation for palliative care homes to offer MAID (in 6 months);

- offering MAID in cases of serious physical disability* (in 9 months);

- offering MAID by advance request* (in a maximum of 24 months).

*together with the other criteria of the Act respecting end-of-life care.

Fortunately, today's vote was not unanimous.

103 in favour.

2 against.

1 abstention.

We welcome the opposition votes cast by MNAs Linda Caron and Filomena Rotiroti. There is a huge benefit in the fact that the bill was not passed unanimously. It is a sign of hope for all those who have spoken out to prioritize medical aid in living, and a simple - but very important - signal that we must be vigilant about a bill that does not provide sufficient safeguards to prevent abuse. For a reminder of the problems inherent in the bill adopted today, see Living with Dignity’s appeal to parliamentarians of June 2 and open letter yesterday, signed together with Louise Brissette.

Last night's speech in the Salon Bleu by MNA Linda Caron, Vice-Chair of the Committee on Citizen Relations that studied Bill 11, clearly explains her final decision to oppose the bill. She is also the Official Opposition critic for seniors, informal caregivers and home care.


All in all, Bill 11 provides little or no response to the need to prevent medical aid in dying from becoming commonplace, or to guarantee access to palliative care, or to guarantee access to medical aid in living rather than medical aid in dying, or to prevent abuse in the medium or long term. Everything depends on the ethics and clinical judgement of the competent professional, and everything will be set out in the practice guidelines and application forms for medical aid in dying, which we have not seen. On the other hand, the bill allows people, or will allow people, who are experiencing persistent and unbearable suffering to request medical aid in dying, even if they are not at the end of their life. For all these reasons, voting for or against this bill, as amended, is still a very difficult dilemma for me.

The video of her full speech (in French) is available here at 1:19:00 and can be read here (at around 20:50).

It is unfortunate that so few other parliamentarians understood the harms inherent in this bill.


Catherine Ferrier
Physicians, Alliance against Euthanasia