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Defense for Murder

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Quebec man uses “Mercy Killing” defense in wife’s murder


On February 20, 2017, Michael Cadotte killed his wife, Jocelyne Lizette (60) by suffocation.

Cadotte, who claims that his wife wouldn’t have wanted to live this way, asked for euthanasia for his wife and was turned down because she was not capable to request death by lethal drugs.

The trial has heard that a year earlier Cadotte sought a medically assisted death for his wife of 19 years and was told by centre staff she didn’t qualify. A head nurse at the Emilie Gamelin long-term care facility testified Cadotte admitted to her, he suffocated his wife.

Johanne Lizotte (her sister) told jurors their mother had Alzheimer’s and died in 2005. She said her sister confided in her on numerous occasions that she didn’t want to end up in the same state.
Nicolas Welt, the lawyer for Cadotte, is also arguing that his client was not criminally responsible because of his state of mind at the time of the murder.

The doctor who cared for Jocelyne Lizette told the court that her patient wasn’t in the terminal phase of her condition:

“If we foresaw an imminent death, then we would have added the therapeutic treatment for palliative care patients like opioids to manage pain and drugs to help breathing,” Pelletier said. “But for her, we hadn’t got to that point.”

Legalizing MAiD has opened the door to a new disturbing defense for murder.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition