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Canadian Bishops Oppose Euthanasia in Catholic Health Facilities

Posted : Nov-30-2023

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) have issued a statement on the non-permissibility of euthanasia and assisted suicide within Canadian health organizations with a Catholic identity. 

Issued on November 30, the statement highlights the fact that, "despite the pressure being applied to Catholic healthcare institutions by some Canadians and Canadian organizations to perform, or to provide through a third-party, 'Medical Assistance in Dying/MAiD,' in other words euthanasia or assisted suicide, the Catholic Church, which regards life as sacred and inviolable, remains firm in its opposition to MAiD."

"We, the members of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, unanimously and unequivocally oppose the performance of either euthanasia or assisted suicide (MAiD) within health organizations with a Catholic identity. We oppose any efforts by governments or others to compel such facilities to perform MAiD in violation of Catholic teachings."

Emphasizing the need for easy and immediate access to comprehensive palliative care for all people, the CCCB created an online resource called Horizons of Hope. The bishops hope that this toolkit will be used by groups and individuals alike, in additon to parishes and healthcare facilities. 

Regarding the eligibility of euthanasia for Canadians whose sole medical condition is mental illness, the bishops call for an increase in investment and resources saying, "We cannot emphasize enough how important it is for public healthcare to invest more in mental health resources. This investment is urgently needed not only because of the present mental health crisis in which needs far exceed resources, but because discouragement and despair can also result from this very scarcity of reachable, reliable, and robust support."

To read the statement in its entirety, please visit the CCCB website here