Cancer is the leading illness among those approved for assisted dying

In Quebec, as in the rest of Canada, the vast majority of patients approved for medical assistance in dying have been diagnosed with various forms of cancer.

A report on the first 1,632 Quebec residents approved for the procedure in the first 15 months ending March 2018 indicted that 78 per cent had cancers, 10% had neuro-degenerative diseases, 10% pulmonary and cardio vascular issues, and 3% kidney, liver, digestive, inflammatory, and auto-immune disorders.

Three in four Quebec residents who received the procedure were ages 60 to 90, the report indicated.

The profile of those who received medical assistance in dying in Ontario is similar, a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal indicated.

The median age in the Ontario cohort was 74.4, and 64.4 per cent had a cancer diagnosis, followed by neuro-degenerative diseases (11.9 per cent), and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases (16 per cent).

Medical assistance in dying: Who and when?

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