Canada, Legislation, Public law, Quebec
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Physician-assisted dying: “Where do people really want to draw that line?”

Margaret Somerville’s fears appear to be coming true. The founding director of the McGill Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law predicted that the passage of the Quebec Act Respecting End-of-Life Care would inevitably create a slippery slope. The ethicist asserts that once “the clear line of inflicting death” is crossed, euthanasia will inexorably be extended to a much wider range of people initially covered by the controversial law.

“The combination of an ageing population, scarce and very expensive healthcare resources and euthanasia is a lethal combination,” Somerville, who now teaches at Western Sydney University, told me. “People used to say you can’t talk about cost savings, that this will never be used for cost savings. But in the last couple of years it has entered into the conversation.”

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