CCCB Statement on Bill C-407

Thursday, September 22 2005

Gathered in Plenary Assembly, the Catholic Bishops of Canada note with grave concern reports that the Government of Canada intends to study Bill C-407, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (right to die with dignity).

As our elected federal representatives prepare to return to Ottawa for the next session of Parliament, we stand firmly opposed to this draft Bill, and we call upon the Government and all members of Parliament to reject this new effort to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia in Canada.

Founded on an erroneous understanding of compassion and of freedom, these practices are an extremely serious threat that concerns all citizens but especially the most vulnerable. It is for the common good that Canadian society must reject Bill C-407 in order to ensure a basic trust among all citizens.

In order to respond to the physical, emotional and moral sufferings of people of all ages, particularly those seriously ill or handicapped, including those in a terminal phase, we call on Canadians, including our elected representatives, instead to promote palliative care and end-of-life care. Our legal system should be inspired by a culture of life in which each person feels responsible for the wellbeing of others until their natural death.

At the moment a basic question is being raised: Can Canadians, who are so concerned about abuse against the sick, the elderly, the handicapped and the vulnerable, entertain the possibility of legalizing the most extreme abuse, killing another person?

The adoption of Bill C-407 or any proposal encouraging euthanasia and assisted suicide would be a major social failure.

For More information Contact:
Sylvain Salvas
Director, Communications Service
Tel: (613) 241-9461
Fax: (613) 241-9048