Since 2016, assisted suicide and euthanasia have been legalized across Canada. In late 2020, amendments to the original legislation were proposed and are currently being debated in parliament.
Friday, March 5, 2021
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Healthcare professionals need our prayers and support. The federal government is about to expand assisted suicide across Canada. People with disabilities and those with chronic conditions will qualify, even if they are not dying. The bill has been amended in the Senate to allow people with mental health concerns to access it as well. If passed, this law will lead to disrespect for the dignity of human beings and put vulnerable people at risk.
The federal legislation will have implications for healthcare in the provinces. Now, more than ever, we need doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals who will ensure vulnerable patients have caring alternatives to lethal injections. But many healthcare professionals with moral convictions are being pushed out of their profession by provincial health regulators. Here in Ontario, you can support vulnerable patients by contacting the Ontario government and asking that legislation be introduced to protect the conscience rights of healthcare workers.
I invite you to visit www.canadiansforconscience.ca/ontario where you can send an email directly to the Ontario government and learn more about this critically important issue. If your MPP is Conservative it will be sent to them, and if you are represented by another party it will be sent to the Premier and the Health Minister. If you prefer to send your MPP a letter by mail, you can use the sample letter that follows mine or compose one yourself. All letters must be sent before March 25, 2021.
If you would like to view a video with testimonies from healthcare providers, please click here.
I would like to draw your attention again to the pastoral letter I wrote on this very topic on January 10 of this year (click here).
No one should ever be forced to participate by immoral means, for example by making an effective referral, in ending the lives of patients. This truly is an issue of life or death.
Let us continue to pray for those who are sick, vulnerable and alone. Thank you for all that you do to strengthen our faith community, especially during these challenging days.
Sincerely in Christ,
Bishop Guy Desrochers, C.Ss.R.
Bishop of Pembroke