Doctors ask Ottawa to clarify rules on mercy killing
Dr. Gaetan Barrette, president of the Federation des medecins specialistes du Quebec, speaks at a news conference in Montreal, Thursday, May 28, 2009. (Andy Blatchford / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Monday, February 15, 2010 5:53PM EST
QUEBEC - Quebec doctors say it's time for the federal and provincial governments to decriminalize euthanasia.
Gaetan Barrette, head of the province's association of medical specialists, wants Quebec and Ottawa to come up with clear policies on when doctors can facilitate a patient's death.
Barrette says the public is ready to accept such guidelines.
He says that, like it or not, euthanasia is already widely practised and governments should stop ignoring it.
Barrette was testifying before a legislative committee in Quebec City that is looking into the right to die with dignity.
He suggested the provincial government could move to protect doctors who practise euthanasia from prosecution, as it did in the past with doctors carrying out abortions.