(Québec) Jennifer Maccarone est « inquiète » et se sent « bousculée » dans l’étude du projet de loi 11, qui revoit les critères d’accessibilité à l’aide médicale à mourir. Elle martèle que le gouvernement doit tenir un forum d’experts avant de statuer s’il permet aux personnes ayant un handicap neuromoteur, ou plutôt à tous ceux qui ont un handicap, de demander ce soin ultime, s’ils répondent aux autres critères prévus par la loi.
Dans un point de presse hautement émotif, jeudi, la députée libérale de Westmount–Saint-Louis a rappelé que des groupes (incluant l’Office des personnes handicapées et le Barreau du Québec) ont affirmé que de permettre qu’aux personnes ayant un handicap « neuromoteur » grave et incurable d’accéder à l’élargissement de l’accès à l’aide médicale à mourir était discriminatoire. Ce critère, prévu dans le projet de loi 11 de la ministre déléguée à la Santé et aux Aînés, Sonia Bélanger, est d’ailleurs en contradiction avec le Code criminel canadien, qui prévoit l’accès à ce soin pour toutes les formes de handicaps.
« Je suis inquiète. Je veux faire mon travail comme parlementaire comme il faut. [Je me sens] upset, very emotional. It’s very, very, very sensitive,” Ms.me Maccarone, whose two children are autistic.
Mme Maccarone is concerned that people with a disability that is not neuromotor and who are able to consent to care do not have the same rights as all other citizens of Quebec, if they meet the criteria established to have access medical assistance in dying.
“I’m really scared at the moment when I won’t be there for my children, then they will face such a decision, then there won’t be proper support. Then I have the horror of thinking of seeing my children who are suffering, then [qu’ils n’auront] not have access to all the same rights and then to all the same care as other citizens,” she said.
“We have a responsibility to all citizens of Quebec to take the pulse of the population, to hear the experts. It is not a question of wanting to delay the adoption of this law or the work of this bill. It will be important to continue the debate, to continue to hear the groups, the citizens in the parliamentary committee, but we need to have more information, we need to hear from the experts, ”added Ms.me Maccarone.
Bélanger does not close the door
In a brief scrum Thursday in Quebec City, Minister Sonia Bélanger said she was “surprised” by the exit of the Liberal MP, with whom she sits these days at the public hearings of Bill 11.
“In the different groups we met, some suggested that we take a little time to talk more. So I say this morning: let’s continue our work. We are in full consultation. We have more than 36 groups coming to meet us,” she said.
Mme Bélanger then assured that she had no deadline for adopting the bill and that she wanted to continue the transpartisan work that guides the laws adopted in Quebec on this very specific subject.
Regarding the forum of experts requested by the Liberal Party and other groups, the CAQ minister said that she “is not closing the door”, but that it is still too early to decide.
BILL 11 IN BRIEF
- The government is proposing to extend medical assistance in dying to people with serious and incurable diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, and to people with severe and incurable neuromotor disabilities. It also proposes allowing citizens to make an advance request for medical assistance in dying.
- The bill does not list the conditions or illnesses that would now qualify. It also excludes mental disorders from the enlargement planned to access this care.
- Quebec also proposes to require palliative care homes to offer medical assistance in dying. According to the Alliance of palliative care homes in Quebec, 25 of the 35 palliative care homes in Quebec already offer it.
- Bill 11 also removes the criterion of imminent end of life from the conditions that a person must meet to obtain medical assistance in dying. It also allows specialized nurse practitioners to administer it.