Archbishop Pierre-André Fournier warns the adoption of euthanasia Bill-52 would have serious and harmful consequences for the future of Quebec. Register file photo.

Quebec bishops condemn re-introduction of euthanasia bill

  • May 27, 2014

OTTAWA - The Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Quebec warns the adoption of euthanasia Bill-52 would have serious and harmful consequences for the future of Quebec.

Assembly president Archbishop Pierre-André Fournier said the question of euthanasia challenges the consciences of everyone. He urged Quebeckers to pray elected representatives adopt a policy to bring good palliative care to all regions of the province instead of permitting doctors to kill their patients.

In a statement issued May 27, Fournier pointed out the decision by the four political parties in the Quebec National Assembly to re-introduce Bill-52 will, if passed, allow doctors to euthanize their patients under the guise of “medical aid in dying.”

“Killing is not care,” said the archbishop.

He called the terms “dying with dignity” and “medical assistance in dying” confusing and misleading. Those words mean euthanasia, deliberately causing death, not end-of-life care for patients, he said.

“We already have the right to refuse aggressive treatment,” Fournier said. “We already have the right not to see our life artificially extended by being connected to all sorts of equipment.”

Bill-52 has another aim — to permit doctors to deliberately cause the death of their patients, he said. Killing patients contradicts the very purpose of medicine.

"We understand, certainly, the anguish and suffering that all experience when a loved one dies in agony," he said. “No one can remain indifferent to this distress.”

The answer to this suffering is good palliative care, he said. Palliative care is the best way to relieve the suffering of people at end of life and to help them live their last moments humanely and with dignity.”

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