Maison Aube Lumiere speaks out on Bill 52
Since 1997, the Maison Aube Lumiere has provided high quality palliative care to more than 2,500 people suffering from cancer. The staff and volunteers provide physical care and accompaniment, responding to social, psychological and spiritual needs.
Bill 52 recognizes the importance of end-of-life care in our society. However, as it is a subject that touches our fundamental values, it arouses debate and leaves no-one indifferent. The president of Maison Aube Lumiere, Elisabeth Briere, wants the population to know that the organization puts their patients and their families at the heart of their actions, fulfilling its daily mission of helping its patients to die with dignity. “We are aware of the needs expressed by the population to which Bill 52 aims to meet by offering medical aid in dying. Nevertheless, we must prioritize the requests of those dying with cancer who wish to receive care in a safe and peaceful place, with respect of their autonomy,” she commented.
During the meeting of the Maison Aube Lumiere’s Board of Directors on June 17th, the administrators again noted a lack of information about the application of the law now that it’s been adopted. Also, the knowledge and awareness of the larger population on the subject is insufficient, frequently unable to understand the difference between ‘palliative sedation’ and ‘medical help in dying’. Even though the Maison Aube Lumiereis is in favour of Bill 52, it intends, for now, to choose the option of not offering ‘medical help in dying’ to its patients with cancer.
It must be noted that this will affect very few of the patients at the Maison Aube Lumiere considering that end-of-life patients must be in constant and insufferable physical or psychological pain that cannot be reduced to tolerable levels to be eligible for ‘medical help in dying’.
On the other hand, in light of new elements that are sure to come up in the coming year, the Maison will follow closely the evolution of this file and will re-evaluate its position, at the latest, on July 1st, 2015. The Maison Aube Lumiere would also like its expertise in palliative care to be available to the population to help increase their awareness on the subject.