Pro-Euthanasia Move Watched in Quebec

Margaret Somerville [pictured], founding director of the Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law at Toronto’s McGill University, said ethicists are keeping an eye on Quebec, where a legislative committee is holding public hearings on euthanasia. International campaigners see Quebec as a vulnerable beachhead for legalizing euthanasia in Canada, and then in the rest of North America. Though many Canadians outside Quebec were reassured earlier this year by the resounding defeat of a Bloc Québecois private member’s bill in favor of euthanasia and assisted suicide, Somerville said pro-euthanasia forces regroup after each defeat. Surveys show about 79 percent of Quebec residents “think euthanasia is a good idea.” Though the rest of Canada is opposed to euthanasia, John Zucchi, a history professor at McGill, warned that Quebec’s support of it could have a domino effect.

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