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Ready for advance requests for medical assistance in dying, Quebec is forced to wait for Ottawa

Photo: Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press The Minister for Seniors, Sonia Bélanger, assured that the process to implement advance requests in the health network was progressing well.

Quebec says it is ready to move forward by the fall with advance requests for medical assistance in dying, but considers itself paralyzed by Ottawa. Minister Sonia Bélanger urges the federal government to grant her an exemption to allow her to apply her law.

Accompanied by her colleagues in Canadian Relations and Justice, Jean-François Roberge and Simon Jolin-Barrette, the Minister for Seniors assured that the process for implementing anticipated requests in the health network was going well. So much so that it would be possible for a person affected by Alzheimer’s, for example, to request end-of-life care “before the fall”.

“We did our job,” said Ms. Bélanger on Wednesday. “We’re doing it for people who are waiting. »

After the adoption of her bill last year, Ms. Bélanger gave herself up to two years to apply the provisions on advance requests of the Act concerning end-of-life care . These delays were explained by the implementation of clinical protocols and the training of nurses, but also by “harmonization” with the federal legislative framework, she said.

Currently, the Canadian Criminal Code does not allow advance requests and Ottawa does not plan to reopen the Criminal Code before 2027. According to Sonia Bélanger, several requests to accommodate Quebec have remained a dead letter in the last few months.

She therefore recommends that the federal government modify its own law on medical assistance in dying to allow provinces that want to move forward with advance request processes. All it would take is for the federal government to amend its law to put in place “conditional legislation,” she said.

On Wednesday, the elected representatives of the National Assembly unanimously supported a motion from Minister Bélanger asking the federal government to “respect the laws” of Quebec regarding medical assistance in dying.

Further details will follow.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116