Newsletter, March 2018

Physicians’ Alliance against Euthanasia

Newsletter, March 2018
Improve care. Make Euthanasia unimaginable.

Dear friends,

It would be safe to say that, even three years ago, no one would have dared propose medically assisted death as a standard end of life treatment in Canada.

Of course not. The roots of public support for MAID lie in its proposal as an affirmation of personal autonomy. MAID was to be an exceptional option: to allow people to choose death at the hands of willing doctors. The motivation was political, not medical. Few would have suggested that there could be objective medical indications for euthanasia. In fact, there has never been a deep and structured discussion among Canadian doctors as to whether it can be properly called medical treatment at all.

Today in Canada we find two options for the end of life: Medical Assistance in Dying, and Palliative Care. It would appear that patient choice is respected: we think not. Continue reading editorial >>


Catherine Ferrier


Alliance news

Our first major medical conference, Improving Care, held on Saturday, March 24 in Montreal, was a great success. About 100 people from across the country, including physicians and other health professionals, attended parallel sessions in both languages on pain management, palliative sedation, existential distress and treatment-resistant depression, coming together for the panel discussion on caring for patients who want to die. They were joined by members of the public for the final presentation on our post-modern approach to illness and the obstacles to palliative care. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

Dr. Patrick VinayLa Presse provided readers with an excellent summary of Dr. Patrick Vinay’s plea on behalf of the 44,000 people who require palliative care each year. He drew attention to the absolute lack of data on palliative care since Law 2 was adopted, and called for an Observatory to collect the information necessary to address the needs of the population. The meeting was also covered by Radio-Canada (0:51), CTV news and Radio-Canada (radio).

Videos of the talks will be posted shortly on our website.


Doctors’ voices

If you have an article, letter or interview relevant to our work published in any media, please let us know at

In the news

If you have experiences related to our work that you would like to share with your colleagues, please send it to


From the trenches

Globe and Mail : There is more than one way to die with dignity.
“It dismays me that a lobby organization calling itself Dying with Dignity is not actively lobbying for increased access to palliative and hospice care.”

Barbara Kay’s explanation for this in the National Post:  “Activists for euthanasia regard activists for palliative care as rivals for the same ‘customers’.”

If you have experiences related to our work that you would like to share with your colleagues, please send it



« Ne gaspillez pas votre mort » / « Don’t waste your Death » (in French)

La vulnérabilité : un lieu de rencontre

Tuesday, April 10, 2018, 7 :30 p.m.
Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral, Montreal

Speakers :
M. l’abbé Jean-Marc Barreau, chaplain of the palliative care unit at l’hôpital Marie-Clarac
Mme Christiane Lemaire, coordinator of SASMAD (Service d’accompagnement spirituel des personnes malades ou âgées à domicile)
Mgr Christian Lépine, Archbishop of Montreal


In the literature

New England Journal of Medicine, March 8, 2018. Physician-Assisted Death for Psychiatric Patients — Misguided Public Policy. “We believe a policy that embraces physician assisted death for patients with mental illness who are not terminally ill is not compatible with physicians’ professional commitment to preserve life and promote health, including mental health — nor is it compatible with our societal responsibility to prevent suicide and protect and care for people with mental illness.”

If you come across articles that could be of interest to colleagues in the Alliance please send the reference to



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