Since 10 December, 2015, euthanasia has been 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. For
two years beginning 10 December, 2015, they were
required to make reports twice yearly to a commission established by the law to monitor
the administration of euthanasia (the Commission sur les soins de fin de
vie) and publish them on their websites. These twice-yearly reports
will apparently cease to be published after that time. The Commission draws from these and other reports to make its
required summary of activity to the legislature (National Assembly).
The Project has compiled the statistics provided in these reports
from10 December, 2015 to 10 December, 2017.
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.
In addition, not all euthanasia deaths are captured in these reports, as
some regions with low populations do not publish reports, and euthanasia
may be provided by private entities that are not subject to the
statutory twice-yearly reporting requirement.
- The number of euthanasia requests made weekly in the province
increased from about 14 in 2016 to about 23 in 2017. In Montérégie the
number of requests weekly doubled; they more than tripled in
- Euthanasia was provided about 9 times weekly in the province
during 2016 and about 14 times weekly in 2017.
- The number of euthanasia deaths increased by about 67% from 454
in 2016 to 757 in 2017. This is about 1.1% of deaths from all
causes, a rate not reached by Belgium for 9 years after
- In Outaouais the number of euthanasia deaths almost doubled
(11 to 21)
- In Chaudière-Appalaches the number more than doubled (18 to
- The number of euthanaia deaths more than tripled in
Saguenay-Lac-Staint-Jean (6 to 19)
- The number of euthanasia deaths quadrupled in Côte-Nord (2
to 8), and more than quadrupled in Abitibi-Témiscamingue
(4 to 18).
434 requests for euthanasia were not acted upon in 2017, up from 263
in 2016. However, the percentage of all requests not acted
upon remained constant at 37%.
- In 11% of the cases the patient died of natural causes
before euthanasia was provided, up from 9% in 2016.
- About 8% of the patients did not qualify for the procedure,
down from 11% in 2016.
- Marked increases in rates of continuous palliative sedation
occurred in a couple of regions, notably Laurentides (a 2017 reate
almost six times that of 2016)
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 December, 2017). Protection of Conscience Project
Based on the continuance of all rates in the second half of 2017, without