The Dying with Dignity commission of the Quebec National Assembly has issued its report after two years of public hearings, consultations with experts and visits to countries where there is now some experience with a range of options on ways of dying. (1) The commission and the Charest government deserve equal praise for their thoughtful report and their courage in addressing this controversial topic. The principal theme of the report holds that palliative care has come of age and is adequate to meet the needs of most dying people; however, it is underprovided, particularly in remote and rural areas. (2) A second important theme concerns “l’aide medicate a mourir”–medical assistance to die. On this subject, the report calls for a change in thinking, arguing that there will still be cases where suffering is great, irreversible and unrelievable, such that the only option is actively helping a person to die.
Said URL is about as likely to work as I am, meaning not at all. But, damn, this is good stuff. “Therapeutic homicide” said with a straight face and not even a whiff of an oxymoron in the air. Two thumbs way up. I know you can’t post full articles, which is just too bad, since the dance around the mulberry bush the authors do regarding consent is amazing to behold. Or rather, amazing that amongst all “blurp, blurp” of “deep concern” and “the continuum of end-of-life care” they never say “Yes, consent in some form will be required,” or “No, the decision about when and where and how therapeutic homicide gets done is purely a medical decision up to the patient’s doctor(s).”
“Therapeutic homicide.” I just love the way it rolls off the tongue.