Quebec politicians say more time is needed to pass expanded assisted dying bill

Quebec's health minister says an end-of-life care bill that would have expanded access to medical aid in dying will not be passed before the legislature breaks for the summer.

Christian Dubé says the members of the committee studying the bill have agreed that the subject is too complex to be pushed through without all the necessary time needed to study it.

The main thrust of the bill is to allow people to make an advanced request for an assisted death in the event they develop severe Alzheimer's disease.

Dubé removed a section that would have allowed quadriplegics and people with cerebral palsy to receive an assisted death in an effort to get the bill passed ahead of the fall election.

Premier François Legault's government had committed to providing a legislative framework to extend medical aid in dying by the end of its first term, but will fail to meet that goal.

Dubé said the delay is unlikely to change the final timeline for patients, since the law will likely require 18 to 24 months before it comes into effect after the bill is adopted.

The bill was tabled late last month and would have required unanimous approval from all five parties in the legislature.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 9, 2022.

The Canadian Press