Quebec Passes Bill Granting Right-to-Die to the Terminally Ill

Terminally ill patients in Quebec may now elect to end their lives. The new law comes at a time when national debate on voluntary euthanasia is heating up in Canada.

What's the Latest?

The Québécois National Assembly on Thursday passed a bill legalizing right-to-die for the terminally ill. Bill 52, which passed with a 94-22 vote, details the conditions under which a terminally ill patient can request to end their life. The legislation is the first of its kind in Canada and early rumblings indicate the federal government is likely to challenge the measure. Right-to-die has been a hot-button topic in Canada for years, the most notable recent case being that of Gloria Taylor, an ALS patient who died in 2012.

What's the Big Idea?

While not as publicized as recent debates over issues such as same-sex marriage, there has been a steady international discussion over right-to-die for quite a while now. There are currently five U.S. states -- Oregon, Washington, Montana, Vermont, and New Mexico -- where a physician can prescribe life-ending drugs to a competent, terminally ill patient. A 2013 Gallup poll determined that a majority of Americans support right-to-die. Interestingly, the poll also determined that respondents were more likely to support "end[ing] the patient's life by some painless means" rather than "assist[ing] the patient to commit suicide," indicating that the the way the debate gets packaged is almost as important as the debate itself.

After legalizing right-to-die, Quebec joins the aforementioned five U.S. states as well as Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Albania. So-called "mercy killings" were legal in Australia's Northern Territory from 1995 to 1997.

Read more at CBC

Photo Credit: lenetstan/Shutterstock

How to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable? Build global partnerships.

Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.

Susan Silbermann, Global President of Pfizer Vaccines, looks on as a health care worker administers a vaccine in Rwanda. Photo: Courtesy of Pfizer.
  • Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
  • Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
  • Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
Keep reading Show less

Why the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner won’t feature a comedian in 2019

It's the first time the association hasn't hired a comedian in 16 years.

(Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for Vulture Festival)
Culture & Religion
  • The 2018 WHCA ended in controversy after comedian Michelle Wolf made jokes some considered to be offensive.
  • The WHCA apologized for Wolf's jokes, though some journalists and many comedians backed the comedian and decried arguments in favor of limiting the types of speech permitted at the event.
  • Ron Chernow, who penned a bestselling biography of Alexander Hamilton, will speak at next year's dinner.
Keep reading Show less

Juice is terrible for children. Why do we keep giving it to them?

A glass of juice has as much sugar, ounce for ounce, as a full-calorie soda. And those vitamins do almost nothing.

Pixabay user Stocksnap

Quick: think back to childhood (if you've reached the scary clown you've gone too far). What did your parents or guardians give you to keep you quiet? If you're anything like most parents, it was juice. But here's the thing: juice is bad for you. 

Keep reading Show less

A new study says alcohol changes how the brain creates memories

A study on flies may hold the key to future addiction treatments.

Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Mind & Brain
  • A new study suggests that drinking alcohol can affect how memories are stored away as good or bad.
  • This may have drastic implications for how addiction is caused and how people recall intoxication.
  • The findings may one day lead to a new form of treatment for those suffering from addiction.
Keep reading Show less