Canada’s Quebec Province Passes Euthanasia Right-to-Die Bill, 1st of its Kind in the Country

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | June 6, 2014 12:22 PM EST

A doctor assists a patient inside the Doctor Voino-Yasenetsky Saint Luka train, which serves as a free consultative and diagnostic medical centre, at a railway station of Divnogorsk, outside Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk May 26, 2014. The train transports well-qualified medical personnel and equipment to assist about 200 patients a day and has been travelling annually from the main regional centre Krasnoyarsk to distant settlements of Krasnoyarsk and Khakassia Regions, where hospitals and clinics are scarce, for the last seven years. The train also has a carriage which operates as a mobile Orthodox church. The train was named after an outstanding Russian surgeon, an Orthodox bishop and GULAG prisoner Valentin Voino-Yasenetsky. Picture taken May 26, 2014. REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin (RUSSIA - Tags: SOCIETY HEALTH TRANSPORT RELIGION)
A doctor assists a patient inside the Doctor Voino-Yasenetsky Saint Luka train, which serves as a free consultative and diagnostic medical centre, at a railway station of Divnogorsk, outside Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk May 26, 2014. The train transports well-qualified medical personnel and equipment to assist about 200 patients a day and has been travelling annually from the main regional centre Krasnoyarsk to distant settlements of Krasnoyarsk and Khakassia Regions, where hospitals and clinics are scarce, for the last seven years. The train also has a carriage which operates as a mobile Orthodox church. The train was named after an outstanding Russian surgeon, an Orthodox bishop and GULAG prisoner Valentin Voino-Yasenetsky. Picture taken May 26, 2014. REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin (RUSSIA - Tags: SOCIETY HEALTH TRANSPORT RELIGION)

Canadians in Quebec suffering from dreaded or long-time health afflictions have now been afforded the right to die, as the provincial government on Thursday passed Bill 52, otherwise known as an act respecting end-of-life care.

The bill passed at the National Assembly in Quebec City by a whopping 94-22. It is the first legislation of its kind in Canada.

The bill provides that a terminally ill adult patient, of sound mind, may request a health practitioner to receive medical aid in dying on the basis of unbearable physical or psychological suffering.

The condition for Bill 52 to be applied is that patients would need to have an incurable illness and be in "an advanced state of irreversible decline in capacities."

Before any euthanasia requests can be carried out, consultations need to be first made and approved with the hospital's medical team.

"Sometimes when you are suffering in pain, one hour can feel like one week.... The protection of the vulnerable is reflected in every aspect of this bill," CBC News quoted Parti Québécois member of the National Assembly Véronique Hivon.

"For me, dying with dignity means dying with the least amount of suffering ... and respecting who that person always was during his or her whole life," Hivon, who drafted the bill and still minister of social services under the former PQ government, said.

A doctor attends to a man, who was injured during clashes with riot police officers, at a local hospital in San Bartolo Ameyalco, outside Mexico City May 21, 2014. Residents are protesting the installation of pipes to draw water from a well and deliver it to other surrounding areas of San Bartolo,  complaining the construction will mean water shortages for the town.  REUTERS/Henry Romero (MEXICO - Tags: SOCIETY HEALTH POLITICS CIVIL UNREST)
A doctor attends to a man, who was injured during clashes with riot police officers, at a local hospital in San Bartolo Ameyalco, outside Mexico City May 21, 2014. Residents are protesting the installation of pipes to draw water from a well and deliver it to other surrounding areas of San Bartolo, complaining the construction will mean water shortages for the town. REUTERS/Henry Romero (MEXICO - Tags: SOCIETY HEALTH POLITICS CIVIL UNREST)

Rimouski Bishop Pierre-André Fournier, president of the Assembly of Bishops of Quebec (AEQ), had earlier blasted the proposed legislation, saying "inducing death is not health care."

"Euthanasia is not healthcare. It is a form of causing death - a form of homicide," Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, told LifeSiteNews. "It's unconstitutional, it should not be happening and in the end it will not be about creating greater freedom for people, but will result in the deaths of many Quebec citizens and sometimes even involuntarily," he added.

A neurosurgeon before entering politics, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard shared that in his encounters with terminally-ill patients, there was no one person who really wanted to die. Only that they want to end their suffering.

"Not once did patients tell me that they wanted to die. But they often told me that they no longer wanted to endure the pain and wanted to go to sleep," the Globe and Mail quoted Couillard.

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(Photo: / )
A doctor assists a patient inside the Doctor Voino-Yasenetsky Saint Luka train, which serves as a free consultative and diagnostic medical centre, at a railway station of Divnogorsk, outside Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk May 26, 2014. The train transports well-qualified medical personnel and equipment to assist about 200 patients a day and has been travelling annually from the main regional centre Krasnoyarsk to distant settlements of Krasnoyarsk and Khakassia Regions, where hospitals and clinics are scarce, for the last seven years. The train also has a carriage which operates as a mobile Orthodox church. The train was named after an outstanding Russian surgeon, an Orthodox bishop and GULAG prisoner Valentin Voino-Yasenetsky. Picture taken May 26, 2014. REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin (RUSSIA - Tags: SOCIETY HEALTH TRANSPORT RELIGION)
(Photo: / )
A doctor draws blood from a man to check for HIV/AIDS at a mobile testing unit in Ndeeba, a suburb in Uganda's capital Kampala May 16, 2014. Uganda has made it a crime to "wilfully and intentionally" transmit the HIV virus and made it legal for medical staff to disclose a patient's HIV status to others without his or her consent. The law was passed on Tuesday, a parliamentary spokeswoman said, in response to a resurgence in HIV infections in a country that was once hailed as a success in the global fight against AIDS. Those convicted face up 10 years in prison. REUTERS/Edward Echwalu (UGANDA - Tags: CRIME LAW HEALTH)
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