For fear of “reprisals”, some Quebec doctors are increasingly hesitant about the idea of offering medical assistance in dying, which worries the College of Physicians.
That concern was raised in a letter, copied to The Canadian Press, that the College of Physicians plans to send to its members on Friday.
In the document, its president, Mauril Gaudreault, explains that doctors regularly contact the professional order to “express their concern about providing the various end-of-life care”.
“In some cases, they even tell us that they no longer want to practice them for fear of reprisals”, he adds, without however specifying the nature of the “reprisals” that the doctors fear.
The letter of Dr Gaudreault comes in reaction to a note from the Commission on End-of-Life Care, which argued that medical assistance in dying seems to be less and less considered a measure of last resort.
The Dr Michel Bureau, who heads the Commission on End-of-Life Care, recently argued that a growing number of cases of physician-assisted dying are “on the edge” of the conditions imposed by law. He also noted a slight increase in the number of procedures that did not follow the rules in force.
The Dr Gaudreault, meanwhile, is not worried about the fact that there are more requests for medical assistance in dying in Quebec. He also points out that in more than 99% of cases, medical assistance in dying is administered in accordance with legal requirements.