The Implementation of Assisted Dying in Quebec and Interdisciplinary Support Groups: What Role for Ethics?

HEC Forum 34 (4):355-369 (2022)
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Abstract

The purpose of this text is to tell the story of the implementation of the _Act Respecting End-of-Life Care,_ referred to hereafter as _Law 2_ (Gouvernement du Québec, 2014) with an emphasis on the ambiguous role of ethics in the Interdisciplinary Support Groups (ISGs), created by Quebec's _Ministère de la santé et des services sociaux_ (MSSS). As established, ISGs provide “clinical, administrative and ethical support to health care professionals responding to a request for Medical aid in dying (MAiD)” (Gouvernement du Québec, 2015). It is suggested that their composition includes the participation of a person with an expertise in ethics. These ISGs represent an important innovation for stakeholders involved in MAiD. To date, no scientific research has specifically addressed ISGs and little research has been conducted in other jurisdictions on the roles, operations and practices of MAiD support structures, especially the implication of ethics. Several ISGs have certainly developed promising practices that could benefit all stakeholders in the wider field of ethics and end of life. We will explore the development of ISGs in Quebec as a support structure for MAiD by highlighting the role that ethics has played (and should play) in these morally and humanly challenging situations.

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