Quebec funds a project to better understand the use of medical assistance in dying

By The Canadian Press

The Quebec government says it will spend more than $900,000 to support a research project aimed at better understanding the growing use of medical assistance in dying (MAID) in the province.

Quebec Minister responsible for seniors Sonia Bélanger announced Wednesday that Université de Montréal (UdeM) researcher Marie-Ève Bouthillier has been given $920,750 in funding over three years.

Bouthillier’s research is expected to provide “scientific knowledge on the factors that may explain the steady increase in the use of MAID and its social acceptability in Quebec.”

According to data from the Commission on end-of-life care, 5,211 people received MAID in Quebec between April 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023, an increase of 42 per cent compared with the previous year.

The use of MAID is also more frequent in Quebec than in the rest of the country.

In 2022, deaths attributable to medical assistance in dying represented 4.1 per cent of all deaths in Canada, according to Statistics Canada, while in Quebec, the proportion was 6.6 per cent – higher than any other province.

According to Bélanger, “the implementation of this project is another step towards a better understanding of the sensitive and important issue of MA in Quebec.”

“We have a very high level of social acceptability. This is something we need to understand if we are to continue to serve Quebecers better. I will be keeping a close eye on the research findings,” she said in a press release.

Bouthillier, who has expertise in bioethics, specializes in subjects such as end-of-life care, futility of care and therapeutic overkill. She also founded the Centre d’éthique du CISSS de Laval, where she has been in charge since 2015.

-This report by La Presse Canadienne was translated by CityNews.

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