Canadian Bishops Oppose Euthanasia Legislation

While Draft Law is Debated in Parliament, Bishops Call for Protection of Conscientious Objection and Promotion of Palliative Care

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The proposal of law for the approval of assisted suicide and euthanasia in Canada has been met with the firm opposition of the Bishops of the province of Saskatchewan, concerned particularly about the impact the legislation could have on the  weakest, in particular the elderly.

In the first place, the Prelates reject the euphemisms mentioned in the draft law: terms such as “medical assistance to die,” “assisted death” or “to die with dignity,” concealing the concrete carrying out of euthanasia, which is “nothing other than deliberately taking the life of a person” and of assisted suicide, which intentionally provides to a person the knowledge and instruments to commit suicide.”

At the same time the Bishops of Saskatchewan recall and encourage the possibility of palliative care, geared to reducing suffering but not to “kill the patient,” as in the case of euthanasia.

Another principle claimed by the Bishops is “conscientious objection” for health workers that do not accept euthanasia or assisted suicide, with the exhortation to the faithful to “respond courageously to the challenges posed by the Supreme Court’s ruling, by raising their voices in defense of the life and the human dignity of all persons, especially the most vulnerable.”

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