Dying with dignity: opinions vary


Quebecers afflicted with an intolerable terminal illness may soon be able to seek the help of a doctor to end their suffering. A panel of legal experts has recommended that the provincial government allow what it is calling “medical assistance to die” in rare cases where a patient is close to death, but unable to endure the physical or psychological pain. But not everyone agrees with the panel’s controversial findings, which were announced in Quebec City on Tuesday. […] Canada’s father of palliative care, Dr. Balfour Mount, is on record as siding with euthanasia advocates when it comes to better care for the terminally ill, the right to die with dignity, and the desire to be in control at the end of one’s life. But Mount, founding director of the Royal Victoria Hospital palliative-care service and emeritus professor of medicine at McGill University, is firmly against doctor-assisted dying.

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