Quebec Superior Court began to hear a constitutional challenge Monday to the federal law on medical assistance in dying by two patients represented by lawyer Jean-Pierre Ménard.

Jean Truchon, 49, and Nicole Gladu, 71 both suffer from incurable degenerative diseases.

Truchon has had cerebral palsy since birth. Gladu contracted polio as a child and said she is in frequent pain.

Both are dependent on others and say they are miserable and want control of their end of lives.

Neither qualifies for the act under federal or provincial law, because their deaths are not ‘reasonably foreseeable’ and they are not at the end of their lives.

Both are arguing that the eligibility requirements for physician-assisted death are too restrictive.

Ménard has said he expects this to be a long legal battle.

Health Canada reports that 1,982 Canadians received medical assistance in dying between June 2016 and June 2017, the first year that this assistance was legal in Canada.

With files from La Presse Canadienne