The Canadian Episcopal Conference “has asked to be heard by a special Committee on medically assisted suicide set up by the Government to be reviewed in one year’s time and established by the Supreme Court of Canada to modify current standards”.
Monsignor Douglas Crosby, Chairman of the Canadian Episcopal Conference, wrote to Justice and Health Ministers to support the “request” for an “extension of the period granted by the Supreme Court to allow adequate reflection time for such a delicate topic”. He pointed out that confidence in medicine has diminished in countries where euthanasia or assisted suicide has been legalised: “The consequences of legislation”, he explained, “can easily be foreseen: attempts to apply euthanasia and assisted suicide to new medical situations, an increasing feeling of anxiety for the disabled, elderly, chronically sick, depressed and terminally ill, whose lives and well-being are exposed to additional threats, the erosion of mutual confidence between doctor and patient, more stress for health care stakeholders and an increased risk of pressure on vulnerable people and their families not to become ‘a burden’”.
He reproached the Supreme Court for having transgressed “society’s moral duty to protect its members and particularly the weak and vulnerable,” having encouraged governments, health authorities and families not to invest in palliative care focused on these persons”.
For his part, the Bishop of Hamilton pointed out “the moral reasons for the Church’s opposition to suicide and euthanasia shared by the majority of Canadians”. The “real solution to the problem” is to promote palliative care: “in fact, taking care of the dying does not mean helping them to die”.
Radio Vatican (2/02/2016)