Saturday, January 25, 2014

Declaration of the Assembly of Québec Catholic Bishops on Bill 52

Yes to palliative care available to all, but no to euthanasia under the name "medical aid in dying"

MONTREAL, Jan. 23, 2014 (Link to the press release)

The Members of our National Assembly will soon be called upon to vote on Bill 52. This proposed law, were it to be adopted, would legalize euthanasia under the name"medical aid in dying." In Québec, the act of causing death would be considered a form of "care" that could be offered and "administered" to the terminally ill.

This bill must not pass.

To cause death to a sick person is not to care for him. A lethal injection is not a treatment. Euthanasia is not a form of care.

We already have the right to refuse overtreatment. We already have the right not to have our lives artificially prolonged by being plugged in to all sorts of equipment. These are givens: we do not need a new law to guarantee them. What Bill 52 is all about is allowing physicians directly to cause death. This goes against the most basic human values and contradicts the very purpose of medicine. Bringing about a patient's death is not a medical act.

What we need in Québec is genuine aid to the dying, and not a law that redefines euthanasia as "medical aid."

Genuine aid to the dying means helping someone who has come to the end of life to live this final step with humanity and dignity. It means offering every possible support, using the best means available to assuage her suffering, surrounding her with affection and tenderness and helping her to say her goodbyes, to find reconciliation, to take stock of her life and to achieve the necessary detachment. It also means - if she so desires - to present her with the love, mercy and forgiveness of God, and to offer the spiritual comfort of faith and of hope in eternal life.

The Executive Committee of the Assembly of Québec Catholic Bishops, for the Assembly

Mgr Pierre-André Fournier, archbishop of Rimouski, president  
Mgr André Rivest, bishop of Chicoutimi, vice-president  
Mgr Louis Dicaire, auxiliary bishop of Saint-Jean-Longueuil  
M. le cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, archbishop of Québec  
Mgr Christian Lépine, archbishop of Montréal  
Mgr Gilles Lussier, bishop of Joliette  
Mgr Dorylas Moreau, bishop of Rouyn-Noranda  
Mgr Yvon-Joseph Moreau, bishop of Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière

January 23, 2014

SOURCE Assembly of Québec Catholic Bishops (AQCB)

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