May 22, 2024

Euthanasia in Quebec: seamless service at a friendly funeral parlour

In Quebec, the number of cases of euthanasia has risen from 63 in 2015-2016 to 3663 in 2021-2022. Nowadays many patients find it difficult to find a place where they can receive the lethal injection.

A funeral director in Quebec has come up with a novel solution. Clients of the Haut-Richelieu funeral home use one of his rooms to die in and are then transported to the workshop for embalming and placement in a casket. It is a seamless service.

“We were a little cautious at the start, because it may seem opportunistic for a funeral home, but honestly, our approach to customers is always done in a state of benevolence,” says a company counsellor.

Here are two stories, as reported in La Presse:

At 10:15 a.m. Wednesday, family members and the man arrived at the funeral complex, over coffee and pastries. Around 11:30 a.m., after explaining the procedure and checking three times rather than once with the patient if he still wanted to proceed, Dr. Dumouchel provided medical assistance in dying. As the patient took his last breath, the song Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen was playing in the room.

A few weeks ago, a lady who had been at odds with her family for years also came to receive medical assistance in dying at the funeral complex. At his request, she shared a pizza with her daughter, who she had recently reconnected with, and a salon employee. They then listened to the film Maleficent , with Angelina Jolie, seated in large couches. After smoking a last cigarette in the garden, the patient received treatment and passed away.

In an interview with La Presse, a palliative care doctor, Olivia Nguyen, expressed her surprise. However, she said: “At the same time, if people are comfortable with the idea, I have the impression that doctors will follow the wishes of patients.”

The doctors interviewed were not disconcerted by the novelty of the business. “With medical assistance in dying, it takes a company anyway to pick up the remains. It’s essential,” said one doctor. ”So if for an additional fee they provide people with a living room for a few hours before medical assistance in dying, why not? It’s a matter of personal choice.”