Health Minister Christian Dubé told reporters today he is making the change to ensure the bill passes quickly through the legislature before the summer break and fall election.
He says opposition parties expressed concern with the bill, which was tabled Wednesday, because the question of extending medical aid in dying to people with neuromuscular disorders was never debated in the province.
Bill 38 needs unanimous approval from all five parties in the legislature for it to pass quickly. The main thrust of the bill is to allow people with severe Alzheimer’s disease to receive an assisted death.
Quebec’s medical-aid-in-dying law requires that patients give written consent to an assisted death within 90 days of the procedure.
Patients with severe Alzheimer’s, however, are usually incapable of offering clear and informed consent and are therefore currently prohibited under law from accessing medical aid in dying.