By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

OTTAWA, July 29, 2009 ( – Canada's bishops are calling on Catholics to become informed and get involved in the battle against euthanasia and assisted suicide in their country.

“Euthanasia and assisted suicide are the antithesis to what should be at the heart of human civilization – trust, respect, concern and solidarity, based on reverence for all human life,” Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops president Archbishop James Weisgerber wrote in a July 17 letter to fellow bishops across Canada.

Bishop Weisgerber says he hopes that all Catholics, with the help and guidance of their bishops, will make themselves aware of the dangers posed by the acceptance of euthanasia and assisted suicide, especially in light of the private member's bill (Bill C-384), put forward again after two failed attempts by Bloc Quebecois MP Francine Lalonde.

Lalonde is seeking to amend the Criminal Code to make assisted suicide and euthanasia legal in Canada.

“This debate must be taken seriously,” the archbishop said, and urged the faithful to contact their members of parliament to express their disapproval of Lalonde's efforts to change the law.

Addressing the confusion engendered by euthanasia proponents' use of euphemistic language to hide the reality of what they are advocating, Catholic Office of Life and Family director Michele Boulva told the Catholic Register, “We need to clarify what euthanasia is and what euthanasia is not. We mustn't kid ourselves; euthanasia goes hand in hand with assisted suicide.”

“The legalization of euthanasia and/or assisted suicide is not about autonomy, dignity and choice. It is about giving some of us the right to kill others. Euthanasia can never be considered as care,” Boulva said. “It is killing.”

Alex Schadenberg, director of Canada's Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, is also urging Canadians to contact their federal MP to oppose Lalonde's bill.

“This bill is not about choice,” Schadenberg warns. “It's protection for doctors.”

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition website has an analysis of Bill C-384 and offers sample letters to help in writing to Members of Parliament.

Contact Information for Members of Parliament is available here.

See related LSN articles:

Euthanasia Prevention Coalition Provides Package for Lobbying Canadian MPs over Euthanasia Bill

MP Introduces Euthanasia Bill into Canadian Parliament

Council of Canadians with Disabilities Opposes Euthanasia Bill C-384


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