Dying with dignity - QMA survey among physicians : 66% of Québec Physicians Recognize Medical Aid in Dying as Appropriate End-of-Life Care

Montréal, September 15, 2013 - A survey conducted for the Québec Medical Association among Québec physicians in May indicates that the majority of physicians (66%) agree with recognizing medical aid in dying as appropriate end-of-life care. Of the ones who are likely to be asked by a patient, 41% would agree to provide medical aid in dying if their patient met the eligibility criteria.

Almost all of the physicians (94%) who responded agree with amending the Act respecting health services and social services to recognize the right to receive palliative care.

The great majority of them (73%) agree with legislative amendments that would make the anticipated medical directives restrictive.

The QMA has been following this issue closely for several years, prompting it to become involved in the Collège des médecins du Québec consultation on the matter in 2009, and to table a brief before the Select Committee on Dying with Dignity in 2010. The QMA also presented its views on the topic to the General Council of the Canadian Medical Association. It will be tabling a brief next Tuesday as part of the parliamentary commission on Bill 52 that starts this week in Québec’s National Assembly.

“In Québec, social acceptance of the concept of medical aid in dying is growing,” indicated QMA President Dr. Laurent Marcoux. “The social debate in the last four years has helped define the concepts and to take into consideration all of the issues and stakeholders. With Bill 52, the Québec government is proposing a legislative framework respecting the right of access to these services for the public, and the right to conscientious objection for physicians. The medical profession’s role now is to ensure that patients at the end of their lives have access to quality palliative care, and that the methods used in end-of-life care are adequate, giving full weight to the principles of social justice and ethical considerations appropriate to the practice of medicine.”

This survey was conducted electronically by Léger Marketing on a sample of 1,201 Québec physicians. The survey results are available at www.amq.ca/documents/sondage-mourir-dignite-en.pdf.

About the QMA
The QMA comprises some 10,000 general practitioners, specialists, residents and medical students. Its mission is to bring together members of the Québec medical community in a context that promotes reflection and action in the best interests of the health of Quebecers.

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Information:

Denise Pelletier
Communications Coordinator
Québec Medical Association
Telephone: 514 866-0660, ext. 230
Toll-free number: 1 800 363-3932
E-mail: denise.pelletier@amq.ca