Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The English Canadian MSM got it wrong re: Quebec College of Physicians and Euthanasia

Today, Dr. Yves Lamontagne, head of the Quebec College of Physicians, held a press conference regarding the euthanasia debate.

I watched this conference live on RDI. What the English Canadian media are reporting, and what I saw, are two different things.

The English Canadian media give the impression that the College was calling for euthanasia to be legalized.


Doctors should work with patients who want to end their lives if death is inevitable but not if it means breaking the law, the Quebec College of Physicians is advising its members.

Toronto Star:

Quebec doctors open door to euthanasia

MONTREAL — In a move certain to be controversial, Quebec College of Physicians has taken a formal position endorsing euthanasia "in certain exceptional situations."

National Post:

Quebec College of Physicians favours euthanasia in 'certain circumstances'

MONTREAL -- The Quebec College of Physicians Tuesday called for changes to the Criminal Code of Canada that would permit euthanasia in cases of "imminent or inevitable death."

While it's true that the College is calling for debate, THIS IS NOT ITS OFFICIAL POSITION. The College issued a discussion paper to stir the debate. But it is not taking an official position.

Check the French coverage.


Le Dr Yves Lamontagne, président du Collège des médecins du Québec, a présenté mardi un document de réflexion sur la question de l'euthanasie.

Il a prévenu de prime abord que le Collège des médecins ne prenait pas clairement position en faveur de l'euthanasie. Cependant, les médecins veulent apporter leur contribution à un large débat sur la question.

(Translation: The College is not taking a clear position in favour of euthanasia).

Canadian Press:

Pour ou contre l'euthanasie: le Collège des médecins pose la question autrement

MONTREAL — Contrairement aux fédérations de médecins spécialistes et d'omnipraticiens, le Collège des médecins ne prend pas clairement position en faveur de l'euthanasie.

Mais il ne prend pas non plus position contre.

Dans un document rendu public mardi, il affirme que la question ne se pose pas en termes de "pour ou contre l'euthanasie", mais en termes de dispensation des "soins appropriés en fin de vie".


"Le rôle de la médecine, ce n'est pas de tuer du monde", a lancé le docteur Yves Lamontagne, président-directeur général du Collège des médecins.

"Et le médecin, quel qu'il soit, où qu'il soit, son rôle, c'est bien clair, et il le sait et il le fait, c'est d'essayer de traiter le malade le mieux possible", a-t-il ajouté.

(Translation: The College is not taking a position for euthanasia; nor is it against it. It's trying to reframe the debate in terms of the best end-of-life care; The head of the College, Dr. Yves Lamontagne says the role of medicine is not to kill people, and that the doctor's job is to treat the patient the best way possible.)

I am just astonished at how biased some of the English Canadian media is, like they barely paid attention to the press conference at all. They did not emphasize that this was going to be a debate and a reflection; it's not the official policy.