A research project to better understand the use of medical assistance in dying

(Quebec) The government of Quebec will disburse more than $900,000 to support a research project whose objective will be to enable it to better understand the use of medical assistance in dying (MAID) in the province, in a context where it is increasing.

The Minister responsible for Seniors and Minister for Health, Sonia Bélanger, announced on Wednesday the granting of funding of $920,750 over three years to researcher Marie-Ève ​​Bouthillier, from the University of Montreal.

The search for Mme Bouthillier must make it possible to produce “scientific knowledge on the factors that can explain the constant increase in the use of MAID as well as its social acceptability in Quebec.”

According to data from the Commission on End-of-Life Care, 5,211 people received MAID in Quebec between 1er April 2022 and March 31, 2023, an increase of 42% compared to the previous year.

The use of MAID is also more frequent in Quebec than in the rest of the country. In 2022, deaths attributable to medical assistance in dying represented 4.1% of all deaths in Canada, according to Statistics Canada, while in Quebec, this proportion was 6.6% — which is higher than all other provinces.

According to Minister Bélanger, “the implementation of this project is one more step towards a better understanding of this sensitive and important issue that is MAID in Quebec.”

“We have very high social acceptability. This is something that we must understand to continue to better serve Quebecers. I will carefully monitor the findings of the research,” she said in a statement.

Marie-Ève ​​Bouthillier, who has expertise in bioethics, specializes in subjects such as end-of-life care, the futility of care and therapeutic relentlessness. She also founded the Ethics Center of the CISSS de Laval, which she has directed since 2015.

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