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Quebec expands law for doctor-assisted death, permits early requests for procedure

Quebec has adopted a new law that expands access to medical aid in dying and allows early requests for the procedure.

The law adopted today permits people with a serious and incurable disease, such as Alzheimer’s, to apply for a doctor-assisted death before their condition deteriorates and prevents them from consenting to one.

Bill 11 also grants access to the procedure to people with a severe physical impairment resulting in a significant and persistent disability.

A previous version of the bill had allowed people with “neuromotor” diseases to apply for medical aid in dying, but the government removed that language from the legislation.

Medical experts had testified before the legislature that the word neuromotor — pertaining to diseases affecting muscles and the nervous system — was too broad.

The new law also allows Quebecers to receive a doctor-assisted death in places other than hospitals, such as funeral homes and long-term care facilities.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 7, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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