Maurice Généreux

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Maurice Généreux is a Canadian physician who was convicted in 1998 of prescribing medications to two HIV positive men in Toronto, Canada in 1996; medications that subsequently allowed the men, Mark Jewitt and Aaron Mcginn, to commit suicide in 1996. Généreux was the first doctor in North America to be convicted of assisting a suicide (followed in 1999 by Jack Kevorkian).[1][2][3][4]

Mark Jewitt took a lethal dose but managed to survive after a friend found him and called the emergency services. Aaron McGinn died in 1996 from an overdose of sleeping pills provided by Généreux. Généreux forged McGinn's death certificate, moreover, to make it look as if McGinn had died from AIDS rather than from sleeping pills. The investigation into Généreux started when a friend raised doubts about McGinn's death to the chief coroner in Toronto. Following an investigation, Généreux was arrested on 20 June 1996.[5]

Généreux was sent to prison for two years minus a day and lost his medical license.[6][7]

According to Ian Dowbiggin, the author of A Concise History of Euthanasia, Généreux's actions revealed an "underground" network of euthanasia provision for AIDS sufferers in Toronto's gay community;[5] however, Dowbiggin's assertions have not been proven. Aaron McGinn was HIV positive but he was not palliative and could have lived a long and healthy life with the medications available. Genereux's actions revealed a failure of the judicial system and The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (the self-regulating governing body for the province's medical profession). Généreux had previous convictions for sexually assaulting his patients but was allowed to continue practising medicine.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Toronto doctor convicted of assisting suicide". BMJ 316 (7144): 1558. 23 May 1998. doi:10.1136/bmj.316.7144.1558. 
  2. ^ John Edward Thomas; Wilfrid J. Waluchow (21 May 1998). Well and good: a case study approach to biomedical ethics. Broadview Press. p. 185. ISBN 978-1-55111-206-0. Retrieved 23 June 2011. 
  3. ^ Jocelyn Grant Downie (21 June 2004). Dying justice: a case for decriminalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada. University of Toronto Press. pp. 35–36. ISBN 978-0-8020-3760-2. Retrieved 23 June 2011. 
  4. ^ Joane Martel (1 October 2002). Le suicide assisté: héraut des moralités changeantes. University of Ottawa Press. pp. 194–195. ISBN 978-2-7603-0539-7. Retrieved 23 June 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Ian Dowbiggin (March 2007). A Concise History of Euthanasia: Life, Death, God, and Medicine. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 1–2. ISBN 978-0-7425-3111-6. Retrieved 23 June 2011. 
  6. ^ "Genereux's license revoked". CBC News. 12 March 1998. 
  7. ^ Light sentence disturbs pro-lifers, The Interim, June 1998.