Now’s the time to stand against euthanasia, urges Canadian bishops’ group
OTTAWA, Ontario, July 9, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – “It is time to stand up and speak!” insists the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF).
In a new reflection, the organization, which was co-founded by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Knights of Columbus, is calling on Catholics and people of good will to engage the debate on end-of-life issues. The plea comes in the wake of a British Columbia judge’s ruling that legalizes euthanasia and assisted suicide and the recent Quebec government report calling for “medical assistance in dying.”
“Would you like to live in a society that allows some citizens to kill others or to help them commit suicide?” asks the reflection. “Would you like medical students – those who will soon be your doctors – to learn not only how to heal, but how to kill? Would you like to wonder one day, as you enter the hospital: ‘Will they treat me or kill me?’”
Michèle Boulva, COLF’s director, says it is “impossible to remain silent” after Justice Lynn Smith’s June 15th decision in the Carter case. And commenting on the Quebec report, released in March, she said, “No matter how hard one tries to conceal reality by playing with words, ‘medical assistance in dying’ stands for euthanasia and assisted suicide. This is about killing.”
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Justice Smith ruled that Canada’s ban on assisted suicide is unconstitutional because it discriminates against the disabled. The 395-page decision said that because suicide is legal, banning assisted suicide is unjust for those who are incapable of taking their own lives.
Smith issued a one-year stay to give the government an opportunity to consider its options, but granted an exception to plaintiff Gloria Taylor, who suffers from ALS, meaning she can seek assisted suicide immediately if she chooses. The federal government has until July 16th to appeal.
“As citizens of a country which claims to be civilized, Catholics and all people of good will have the right and duty to counter any attempt to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide, and also to promote palliative care and true compassion,” says Boulva.
“We stand before a fundamental option, the response to which reveals the true nature of our society’s heart,” she continued. “Do we show concern for the sick, the elderly, the handicapped and vulnerable by encouraging them to commit suicide or through deliberately killing them by euthanasia? Or, instead, do we fashion a culture of life and love in which each person, at every moment and in all circumstances of their natural lifespan, is treasured as a gift?”
COLF is calling on citizens to contact their Members of Parliament to ask them to oppose any attempt to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide. They are also asking for support of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and the Quebec group “Vivre dans la Dignité”.
Find the COLF reflection, It is time to stand up and speak!
Rob Nicholson, Justice Minister
284 Wellington St.
Ottawa, ON K1A 0H8