A Quebec bill would give Alzheimer’s patients access to medical aid in dying

MONTREAL – Quebec has tabled a bill that would extend provincial legislation on assisted dying to people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Health Minister Christian Dubé today said Bill 38 would allow people with serious and incurable illnesses to consent to assisted death before they become mentally or physically incapacitated.

The bill comes after a special legislative committee last December recommended expanding end-of-life care.

Quebec’s medical assistance in dying law requires patients to give written consent to medical assistance in dying within 90 days of the procedure.

However, patients with severe Alzheimer’s disease are generally unable to offer clear and informed consent and are therefore prohibited by law from accessing medical assistance in dying.

Bill 38 was introduced late in the legislative session and will only pass before the summer recess — and the fall election — if it receives unanimous five-party support.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on May 25, 2022.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of Meta and the Canadian Press News Fellowship.

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