Media report 2015 Plenary Assembly statement on assisted suicide

Wednesday, September 23 2015
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Plenary 2015 - Friday statementDuring their 2015 annual Plenary Assembly, the Bishops of Canada issued a statement on assisted suicide and euthanasia and on the urgent need for better access to palliative, long-term and home care.

The Bishops affirmed "our nation's long tradition of caring for the sick and the vulnerable." They expressed "outrage at the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada to create a new 'constitutional right' in Canada, the so-called 'right' to suicide." They went on to express "profound dismay, disappointment and disagreement with the Court's decision. The ruling would legalize an action that, from time immemorial, has been judged immoral: the taking of innocent life. Moreover, it puts at risk the lives of the vulnerable, the depressed, those with physical or mental illness, and those with disabilities."

Noting that Canada is in the midst of a federal election campaign, the Bishops said: "The candidates' silence on the question of assisted suicide astonishes us. This question is fundamental for our society and its future." They urged "all the citizens of our country to raise this question of life and death at meetings with candidates, to stimulate a true debate worthy of our great country."

Various media outlets have reported on the September 18 statement by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops:

- Radio-Canada interview with the Most Reverend Paul André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau and then CCCB President (in French only): http://ici.radio-canada.ca/sujet/elections-canada-2015/2015/09/18/016-conference-eveque-droit-euthanasie-cour-supreme.shtml 

- Vatican Radio – « L'épiscopat canadien se mobilise contre le suicide assisté » (in French only):
http://fr.radiovaticana.va/news/2015/09/19/l%c3%a9piscopat_canadien_se_mobilise_contre_le_suicide_assist%c3%a9/1173125

- Présence information religieuse : (in French only)
http://presence-info.ca/article/ethique/le-suicide-assiste-absent-de-la-campagne-electorale-deplorent-les-eveques  

- Catholic Register: http://www.catholicregister.org/item/20910-canada-s-bishops-urge-invoking-notwithstanding-clause-on-assisted-suicide 

Earlier this month, the British Parliament by a majority of almost two-thirds rejected a proposal to legalize assisted suicide.

Related links:

- "Archbishops comment on the defeat of the Assisted Dying Bill (No2) at Second Reading": http://www.catholicnews.org.uk/Home/News/Assisted-Dying 

- « Les Églises britanniques rassurées par le rejet du suicide assisté » : (in French only)
 http://www.news.va/fr/news/les-eglises-britanniques-rassurees-par-le-rejet-du  

- "Physician-assisted suicide a right, says Canadian Supreme Court":
http://www.news.va/en/news/physician-assisted-suicide-a-right-says-canadians 

- Suicide assisté : l'inquiétude de l'Église canadienne (in French only) :
http://www.news.va/fr/news/suicide-assiste-linquietude-de-leglise-canadienne 

Last Updated on Wednesday, September 23 2015