Since 10 December, 2015, euthanasia has provided by physicians in Quebec
under the terms of
An Act Respecting End of Life Care (ARELC). Health and social services agencies established by the government
throughout the province are state agencies responsible for the delivery and coordination of health care in the province
administrative regions. These are called Centres intégrés de santé et de
services sociaux (CISSS) and Centres intégrés universitaires de santé et de
services sociaux [CIUSSS). Some administrative regions (like Montreal
and the Quebec City region) have more than one CISSS or CIUSSS.
These agencies are responsible for the delivery of euthanasia and are
required to make reports to a commission established by the law to monitor
the administration of euthanasia (the Commission sur les soins de fin de
vie). The Commission draws from these and other reports to make its
required summary of activity to the legislature (National Assembly).
The most recent reports from the CISSS and CIUSSS cover the period from 10 December,
2016 to 10 June, 2017. The Project has compiled the statistics provided in these reports.
The compilation includes tables and charts, some of
which are reproduced below. Note that, in some cases, the number of
patients lethally infused is higher than the number of requests because
euthanasia was provided in response to a request made in the previous reporting period.
However, this compilation is incomplete:
- This compilation accounts for the provision of euthanasia in only 454 cases in 2015/2016.
- According to a
CBC News report
dated 14 March, 2017, euthanasia was administered to 461
people in Quebec in 2015/2016. The source of this information was not
identified, and the main chart published in the news article (as of
2017-09-01) was incomplete and outdated.
- According to a
CBC News report dated 20 April, 2017, euthanasia was
administered to 469 people in Quebec in
source of the statistics provided in the report was said to be
health ministries and coroners' offices.
- It is possible that, in the 7 to 15 Quebec cases not accounted
for here, euthanasia was administered in private institutions. The Commission received four reports
from private institutions, but did not include the data in its
annual report (see Commission report, p. 15).
- As of 2 October, 2017,
agency in a sparesly populated region with sparse population (Nunavik)
had not made public its most
recent report. It is unlikely that any euthanasia has occurred
in this region.
- One agency (Montérégie-Centre),
while noting that euthanasia was not provided in 7 cases because
patients died before, became incompetent, were ineligible, or
withdrew their request, did not report the number of patients in each category.
Subject to these qualifications, the following points
appear to be of interest:
- Almost 20 requests for euthanasia were made weekly in the
province in the first half of 2017, slightly higher than the last half
- The percentage of requests that did not result in euthanasia
increased slightly from about 37% to 40%
- Increases in this category, when reported, were attributed
mainly to patients becoming incompetent, dying or withdrawing their
If rates in the first half of 2017 persist without escalation, Quebec
euthanasia rates will reach levels after two years that correspond to
Belgian rates after seven to eight years (i.e., per 100,000 population and
as a percentage of deaths from all causes).
full Excel file (10 December, 2015 to 10 December, 2017)
(Includes links to original reports).
work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0
Suggested citation: Murphy S. Euthanasia reported
in Quebec: statistics compiled from the Rapports aux directeur général
au Conseil d'administration de l'établissement et à la Commission sur
les soins de fin de vie (10 December, 2015 to 10 June, 2017), Protection of Conscience Project
Based on the continuance of all rates in the first half of 2017, without