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XIV ORDINARY GENERAL ASSEMBLY
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Click to see an excellent video featuring Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB as he interviews Sr. Nuala Kenny (SC, MD). This is a wide ranging interview on Bill C-14 which will have serious effects not only on Canadian Catholics, but on the medical profession, on people of all faiths and walks of life, as well as on the moral fabric of our society.
Bill C-14 – Speak Out on the Legislation!
Bill C-14, the legislation on assisted-suicide and euthanasia, has had first reading in the House of Commons. It is not too late for people to speak out against the legislation and to keep proposed changes to Bill C-14 from going against the support of life. It is so important for Catholics to express their concerns on the sanctity of life and their belief in conscience rights for healthcare workers and institutions when they are faced with a patient's choice for assisted suicide (more on this issue can be found at: www.canadiansforconscience.ca/).
We know that original letters, phone calls or e-mails are the most powerful way to reach your elected officials. A sample letter with possible messaging can be found in the "It’s Time to Talk" information sheet which can be accessed here. Please write to the Minister of Justice and cc a copy to the Minister of Health and your local Member of Parliament. Thousands of letters have already been sent to federal representatives and local Members of Parliament – they need to hear from your voice too. The more people speak out, the more they will understand how Canadians feel about this proposed law.
More on the Issue of Euthanasia/Assisted Suicide:
Table Of Contents
- Statement on Bill C-14 by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
- Statement from Cardinal Thomas Collins concerning introduction of federal euthanasia/assisted suicide legislation
- Assisted Suicide: Cardinal Thomas Collins' response to the report of the Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying
- Recent Developments and Texts regarding Physician-Assisted Suicide
Statement on Bill C-14 by the
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
Today, the Government of Canada has introduced Bill C-14, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to make related amendments to other Acts (medical assistance in dying). This proposed legislation, which responds to the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in early 2015, will make euthanasia and assisted suicide legal and more accessible in our entire country. The Supreme Court decision and current legislative efforts are in stark contradiction to the endeavours of individuals, families and communities to counteract the dangers and sufferings of suicide – as we have seen this week in Attawapiskat, Ontario.
The teaching of the Catholic Church and the stance of the Catholic Bishops of Canada affirm the sacredness and dignity of human life. Suicide and euthanasia are contrary to the most profound natural inclination of each human being to live and preserve life. Furthermore, they contradict the fundamental responsibility that human beings have to protect one another and to enhance the quality of health and social care which every human life deserves, from conception to natural death.
Bill C-14, no matter how it may be amended, is an affront to human dignity, an erosion of human solidarity, and a danger to all vulnerable persons -- particularly the aged, disabled, infirm and sick who so often find themselves isolated and marginalized. Moreover, it is a violation of the sacrosanct duty of healthcare providers to heal, and the responsibility of legislators and citizens to assure and provide protection for all, especially those persons most at risk.
As our country faces this new moral and social threat, the Bishops of Canada renew their call to federal, provincial and territorial legislators to consistently defend and protect the lives of all, to renew efforts to guarantee accessible home care and palliative care, and to protect the conscience rights of healthcare providers and agencies refusing to be part of euthanasia and assisted suicide.
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
April 14, 2016
Read the Statement from CCCB in French
Read the Statement from Cardinal Thomas Collins concerning introduction of federal euthanasia/assisted suicide legislation
Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, released a video this week in response to the report of the Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying. The committee’s role was to provide recommendations to the government on what should be included in the new legislation on this issue. You are encouraged to watch the video and read the accompanying documents written by various organizations responding to the proposals. Please call or write your Member of Parliament to voice your opinion on what should or should not be allowed in the new legislation. Once the law is adopted it will be extremely hard to change since it would require a Constitutional challenge. Now is the time to speak up about this serious and life-changing new law.
The following statement was released by
the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops:
The following are recent developments and texts regarding physician-assisted suicide all of which involve efforts to protect conscience rights for health-care practitioners and institutions, as well as to safeguard vulnerable persons:
- The Coalition for HealthCARE and Conscience has launched the Respect for Conscience project, on the website http://www.canadiansforconscience.ca/. The project involves a detailed proposal on how the conscience rights of doctors and health-care facilities can be respected without interfering with the patient’s choice for assisted death. The Coalition brings together the Archdiocese of Toronto, the Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada, the Catholic Organization for Life and Family, the Canadian Federation of Catholic Physicians’ Societies, the Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute, and Canadian Physicians for Life. It also represents some 5,000 physicians across Canada. The website, in English only, allows concerned Canadians to indicate their support for the Respect for Conscience proposal, as well as providing an opportunity to write to the appropriate officials in each province or territory with respect to its plans to protect the conscience rights of health-care workers and institutions.
- Almost 30 Canadian agencies involved in health care and work with the disabled have developed the Vulnerable Persons Standard. Released this March 3, it is a series of safeguards to ensure that Canadians requesting assistance from physicians to end their life can do so without jeopardizing the lives of vulnerable persons who may be subject to coercion and abuse. More information is available in both English and French on the website http://www.vps-npv.ca/. Among the agencies involved in developing the Vulnerable Persons Standard are the Catholic Health Alliance of Canada, L’Arche Canada, and the Physicians Alliance against Euthanasia.
- Intended to coincide with the Vulnerable Persons Standard, Mr. Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche, and Ms. Hollee Card, National Leader of L’Arche Canada, have issued a letter on assisted suicide dated this past February 25. Addressed to all Canadians, Senators and Members of the Parliament of Canada, the letter is available in English by clicking here.
- An article has been recently published by Bioethics Matters (March 2016, Volume 14, number 2), entitled “The Health Care Professional as Person: The Place of Conscience”, by Bridget Campion, PhD. The text, in English only, can be found by clicking here.
- The Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) has written extensively about the issue of physician- assisted suicide and has also released a statement, which can be found at http://www.colf.ca/index.php/en/in-action/item/269-colf-response-to-the-report-of-the-special-joint-committee-on-physician-assisted-dying
(CNS Photo/Paul Haring)