…at the end of life as at the beginning. Here Margaret Somerville highlights how Quebec doctors aren’t likely to be able to debate legalized euthanasia well, since they don’t appear to know what it means:
Dr Barrette said that in caring for terminally ill people, “doctors are aware they can be charged with murder if they administer a ‘palliative sedative’ before a patient is on his or her last breath.” This is not euthanasia, although, like Dr Barrette, 49 percent of Quebec physicians recently polled mistakenly thought it was. Palliative means the sedative was necessary to relieve pain and suffering and was not given with an intention of killing the patient. That cannot result in a murder charge, or any other legal charge, unless the patient refused it.