COLF director Michèle Boulva Register file photo

COLF urges Catholics to get involved in euthanasia debate

By 
  • July 4, 2012

OTTAWA - The Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) warns Canada is veering in a "dangerous direction" towards euthanasia and assisted suicide and urges Catholics to enter the public debate on end-of-life care.

"It is impossible to remain silent following the June 15 decision by Justice Lynn Smith of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in the Carter case," said COLF director Michèle Boulva in a July 4 release. "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."

In the Carter decision, the judge struck down Canada's Criminal Code provisions against euthanasia and assisted suicide as unconstitutional, arguing in one instance that since suicide is legal, those who cannot commit suicide because of their illness or disability have their equality rights violated under section 15 of the Charter.

The federal government has until July 16 to appeal the decision.

Boulva also raised alarms concerning the Select Committee on Dying with Dignity's recommendations last March to the Quebec government that said the legalization of "medical assistance in dying" should be considered "appropriate care at the end of life."

"No matter how hard one tries to conceal reality by playing with words, 'medical assistance in dying' stands for euthanasia and assisted suicide," said Boulva. "This is about killing."

As Members of Parliament head home to their ridings for summer break, COLF urged Catholics to get in touch with their representatives "to ask them to oppose any attempt to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide."

COLF called for the mobilization of families, parishes, movements and associations to enter this debate, noting the "incoherence" of Canada's putting so much energy into suicide prevention and elder abuse prevention while legalizing assisted suicide and euthanasia, which it called "the ultimate abuse."

To assist, COLF prepared an insert for parish bulletins entitled "Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide: Symptoms of the Culture of Death"

"It is time to stand up and speak up!" the insert says.

"Would you like to live in a society that allows some citizens to kill others or to help them commit suicide?" it asks. "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?' ”

The insert includes information on the Carter decision and the Select Committee's recommendations. It stresses the role of Parliamentary representatives in resolving what it calls "a matter of life and death.

"No court or commission should dictate to them what is good for Canadian society."

COLF calls for palliative care as a solution to end-of-life care. It urges Catholics to contact Justice Minister Rob Nicholson and their local MP and to respond to articles in the media by writing letters. COLF provides links to the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and the Quebec grassroots group Living with Dignity and offers several pamphlets of its own for those wishing to understand more about the issue.

More information can be found at www.colf.ca.

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