Medical aid to die: the ex-deputy minister Ghislain Leblond implore Quebec act

Aide médicale à mourir: l'ex-sous-ministre Ghislain Leblond implore Québec d'agir

Suffering from a neurodegenerative disease, and nailed in a wheelchair for the past 15 years, Ghislain Leblond is following with indignation the legal challenge led by Nicole Gladu and Jean Truchon to change the criteria for the medical assistance to die.

According to him, Quebec must not only harmonize its law with that of the federal government, but also to take charge of the dispute before the courts of the famous clause about the “natural death reasonably foreseeable”.

“Two people, if mortgaged by the life to be obliged to show off like circus animals, it is incredibly sad,” laments, in the interview, the former deputy minister of the Industry.

Ghislain Leblond is one of those people who wish to obtain medical assistance to die if it does not be able to live a prisoner of his body. Because this is what awaits, he who can not rely on the use of approximately 60 % of his right arm to perform the countless small daily gestures.

The first symptoms of the disease, which resembles a very slow amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but who has never been diagnosed — “I’m a medical mystery!” — appeared when Mr. Leblond was in his twenties. Paralysis, progressive, and has been forced to stop working at the age of 48 years. Today, the septuagenarian is in need of help “24 hours on 24”.

“The idea of finding myself a prisoner of my body with my entire head, that to me is unacceptable. Fifteen years in a wheelchair, it is long”, drops Mr. Leblond, adding in the same breath that his fate is “nothing” next to the one of Nicole Gladu or Jean Truchon. “I have help, I’m well accompanied. […] In fact, the more hard it is to be dependent upon others,” including his wife, he said with emotion.

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In an open letter that he sent to the Sun, Ghislain Leblond deplores the fact that the quebec bill on end of life care is more restrictive than the federal law on medical assistance to die. It has, in particular, against the notion of “end of life” selected by Quebec, so that the principle adopted by the supreme Court and included in C-14 is that of “suffering persistent and intolerable”.

Refusal to harmonize

“Despite the pressures coming from all sides […], Quebec has consistently refused to harmonize its law. By a calculation of the electoral of the lowest and most vile, Philippe Couillard has preferred left to their own devices, the Gladu and Truchon in Quebec rather than risk a few votes at the next election,” he laments.

A victim of his own “turpitude”, the Québec government is thus forced to “gang up” with Ottawa against these two persons among the most vulnerable in our society,” growls Mr. Leblond. “Here we are, deliberately and without any justification, the accomplices of the fact that these two abused the chance to be forced to undertake a real way of the cross legal who will lead after several years leading up to the supreme Court,” says-t it.

The septuagenarian press Quebec to harmonize the one hand, its law with that of the federal government and, on the other hand, to liberate the vulnerable citizens of these inhuman fighting in front of the courts taking charge of the challenge of the “mysterious” clause on the “natural death reasonably foreseeable” directly in front of the Court of appeal. “If the Quebec government had acted when it was time, we would already be in front of the supreme Court. It would have saved time,” he said.

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During the election campaign, the Coalition avenir Quebec had been open to expand the medical assistance to die after having conducted a consultation process. The office of the minister of Health, Danielle McCann, we promise always to “consider seriously” the question of enlargement, but also in the harmonization of federal and provincial legislation.

The press secretary of the minister McCann, Alexandre Lahaie, pointed out that the government is awaiting two reports. The first, which will take stock of three years of the law on end of life care and examine the case of a refusal of medical assistance to die, will be released in January. The other report, expected in spring, will focus on early applications of medical help to die.

“There is a reflection that is ongoing and requires several steps. It is necessary to do things in the right order. Once we have read and analyzed the reports, it is sure that we will not act unilaterally. We will listen to the people, the environment…,” said Lahaie.

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