The End of Life Care Act was enacted on June 5, 2014 and assented to June 10, 2014. The provisions of this Act, which are published on this page, came into force on December 10, 2015.
The End-of-Life Care Act provides a comprehensive and integrated view of palliative and end-of-life care. It ensures that people at the end of their lives have access to quality care and support adapted to their particular situation during this final stage of their lives, in particular to prevent and alleviate their suffering. The Act responds to the recommendations of the Special Commission on Dying with Dignity.
The Act has two components:
- Rights, organization and supervision of end-of-life care, which include:
- the palliative care, including palliative sedation continues;
- The medical aid to die.
- The recognition of the primacy of wills expressed clearly and freely, by the introduction of the system of advance medical directives .
Human rights at the end of life
Respect for the person at the end of life and the recognition of his / her rights and freedoms must inspire each of the gestures made towards him / her. The end-of-life person must at all times be treated with understanding, compassion, courtesy and fairness, respecting his / her dignity, autonomy, will, needs and security. In addition, members of the end-of-life care team must establish and maintain open and honest communication with them.
Right to receive end-of-life care
The end-of-life person has the right to receive the care required by his state of health and to have access to quality care adapted to his needs, in particular to prevent and alleviate his suffering.
End-of-life care is provided in institutions in the health and social services network, as well as in palliative and home care homes. Each hospice or hospice must have an end-of-life care policy that specifies the nature and extent of available care available under its roof. It is therefore important for the end-of-life person and his or her family to consult this policy before choosing where to seek treatment.
In addition, health care institutions and palliative care homes are required to provide a person at the end of their life with a room for themselves only a few days before their death.
Medical aid to die
Only a person of full age and able to consent to care may request medical assistance to die . No other person can do it in its place. In addition, to receive this care, the person at the end of life must absolutely meet all the criteria set out in the Act.
Right to refuse or stop treatment
Whether it is at the end of life or not, anyone has the right to refuse a treatment or to ask to stop a treatment in progress. She has the choice of being fed, artificially hydrated or receiving palliative care . Regardless of the reason for his / her decision, the person has the right to refuse care, even if this may shorten the life expectancy. Refusal or cessation of treatment does not affect the right of the person to receive end-of-life care.
Right to be represented
To receive care, everyone must give free and informed consent to health care professionals. When a person becomes unfit to consent to care, they can no longer make a decision about the care required for their health. In this case, another person may consent to care in his / her place. This person may be his legal representative (mandatary, guardian or curator), a relative (his spouse, for example) or a person who demonstrates a particular interest in him. In all circumstances, that person must act in his or her best interests and respect, to the extent possible, the wishes she expressed when she was fit to do so.
Right to express one’s wishes
Whether at the end of life or not, everyone has the right to express their wishes in case of incapacity to consent to care. To do this, a person can:
- Communicate verbally to others;
- Write a living will or a living will;
- Write on a sheet of paper his wishes, date it and sign it;
- Make a video recording of his wishes;
- Have a mandate in anticipation of incapacity;
- Express their wishes during a discussion with a doctor, who will enter them in the form of levels of medical intervention;
- Express their wishes with the help of the anticipated medical directives.
The end-of-life caregiver and his or her family members may, at any time, file a complaint for a care or service received in the health and social services network with the Complaints and Quality Commissioner, Care or service received by an out-of-network physician at the Collège des médecins du Québec. Complaints about end-of-life care will be addressed as a matter of priority.
Commission on End-of-Life Care
The Act established the Commission on End-of-Life Care. Its mandate includes the review of all end-of-life care issues and the monitoring of the specific requirements for medical aid to die.
You can reach the Commission:
- by mail, at:
Commission on end of life care
in 2535, Laurier Boulevard, 5 thfloor
Québec (Québec) G1V 4M3
- By e-mail at [email protected]
- By phone: 418-204-2059 or 1 844 200-2059 (toll-free)
For more detailed information on the above and to review the Projet de loi no 52 (2014, chapitre 2) Loi concernant les soins de fin de vie, (the law concerning End of life care) refer to the Health and wellness site of the Quebec government.
Source : Quebec, Portal health, wellness