Medical Aid in Dying in Quebec: Two Years Down the Road


Chancellor Day Hall Maxwell Cohen Moot Court (NCDH 100), 3644 rue Peel, Montreal, QC, H3A 1W9, CA

It has been two years since Quebec’s National Assembly passed Bill 52, “An Act Respecting End-of-Life Care”, legalizing medical aid in dying (MAID) in the province.

In this symposium, a palliative care doctor who provides MAID, a lawyer who fights for access to it, and an academic who studies policy governing MAID will discuss Bill 52’s implementation and lessons that may be learned from real cases from the province and abroad. The speakers will discuss the following four cases:

  • Jean Brault - A disabled man who, to meet the end-of-life criterion of Bill 52, began a hunger strike that lasted 53 days.
  • Jocelyne Lizotte - A patient suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s dementia who was denied access to MAID because she was deemed incompetent.
  • Kate Cheney - An 85-year-old with inoperable cancer who was judged competent to access MAID in Oregon, despite notable cognitive problems and possible pressure from family members.
  • Véronique Dorval - A woman with bipolar disorder who took her life after being denied access to MAID.

About the speakers

Dr. Jocelyn Downie teaches health care ethics and law at Dalhousie University. She has written extensively on end-of-life legislation and assisted-dying in Canada.

Me. Jean-Pierre Ménard has worked as a patient advocate and lawyer practicing health law in Quebec for over 30 years. He chaired the judicial committee appointed by the Quebec National Assembly to make legal recommendations on Quebec’s first MAID legislation.

Dr. Alain Naud is a family and palliative care physician in Quebec City, as well as a Full Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of Université Laval. He was the first health professional to publicly discuss his personal experience providing MAID in Quebec.

Organized by the Medical Student Study Group on Physician-Assisted Dying, the McGill Law Journal of Law and Health, and the McGill Law Students Association. The venue is accessible to wheelchairs, and parents with children are welcome. For any questions regarding accessibility, write to mcgillmedpass [at]

This event is accredited for 2 hours of Continuing Legal Education for jurists by a recognized provider.


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