The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has participated in the public consultation on palliative care coordinated by Health Canada, which is in response to the passing of Bill C-277- An Act providing for the Development of a Framework on Palliative Care in Canada.
The consultation, which ran between May to July 2018, sought to engage Canadians so as to develop a national framework on palliative care. Themes such as advance care planning, person and family-centered care, access issues, special populations, health care provider training and supports, caregiver needs, and community engagement were addressed. The CCCB’s submission addressed questions especially geared for those involved in the delivery and administration of healthcare in Canada. The Conference’s submission was developed with the assistance of the Catholic Health Alliance of Canada, Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute and with several resources released by Covenant Health in Edmonton Alberta and others.
The CCCB submission underscored the importance of the spiritual care dimension in palliative care, the human and personal dimensions in the care to be given, including the spiritual / religious needs of families and communities. Furthermore, it strongly emphasized that palliative care is not to include euthanasia or assisted suicide, or what is being called in Canada “Medical Assistance in Dying” (MAid).