As we went to press, it was revealed that from April 4 to September 21, Quebec’s Health Ministry had issued a directive to Urgences Santé paramedics in Montreal and Laval not to resuscitate patients who had flatlined due to cardio or pulmonary crises. The excuse used was to keep hospital ICUs from being overwhelmed. The second reason given was to protect paramedics from getting sick with Covid in case the patients had it. The order was not lifted even in the summer when there was no risk of overcrowding. The order was lifted only after complaints from the Urgences Santé union.
This was nothing less than state-sanctioned manslaughter in a selection process deciding on who would live and who would die. What made this act even more perfidious was that on April 21 the Collège des médecins du Québec – doctors pledged by their Hippocratic oath to “do no harm” – gave their consent to this odious conspiracy.
Nothing justified this. By mid-April there was no surge in hospitals. Nurses and paramedics were all equipped with PPEs. And what made this even more vile is that the Health Ministry was not even following their own legislation and directives that call for public disclosure of any reduction in health services. We await the return of our calls to the Ministry, MNAs and the College. But in speaking to several doctors in hospitals, none had been informed of this directive.
It is not unreasonable to assume the possibility that the real justification behind this heinous crime was that the medical system would save some money by not exercising the last full measure of devotion in saving lives. And as for the College’s acquiescence, its incestuous relationship with government has gone on far too long. It is time for an inquiry into its grip on the medical profession.
This malfeasance is made all the more tragic by the admission by Urgences Santé Director of Care Pierre-Patrick Dupont that no one knows how many patients this could have involved because they don’t keep track of deaths of those transported to hospital. Shame on the Health Ministry. Shame on Urgences Santé. Shame on us all if we do not rage!