How can we respond to the legalization of euthanasia in Canada?
Dying Healed workshops:
The Dying Healed workshop teaches important issues about human suffering, human dignity and the power of human presence, as well as other end of life issues.
The workshop includes important pastoral and practical aspects of what to say, how to listen, and how to be with people who suffer illness, disability and loneliness. It is intended to be a preparatory training for those who would like to spend time with people who are elderly, ill, disabled and dying; those people who are the most vulnerable to the negative influences to Canada’s euthanasia and assisted suicide law.
Those interested in hosting a Dying Healed workshop can contact Jacqueline Saretsky at (306) 292-5531 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Call to Conscience:
With physician-assisted suicide now legal in Canada, healthcare practitioners and facilities in some provinces are in a compromised position. Those who cannot support assisted suicide or euthanasia because of their conscience, faith, or commitment to the Hippocratic Oath are forced to compromise their convictions. This is wrong.
The Coalition for Healthcare and Conscience is working to protect conscience rights of health care professionals: Canadians for Conscience
Finding the Gifts:
“Finding the Gifts” is a video project funded by the Knights of Columbus. The Communications and Education sub-committee of a Bishop’s Advisory Group produced the videos hoping to capture the gift of life and hope that can be found even in difficult circumstances. For more information see FindingTheGifts.ca
L’Arche: a community of caring
Care for the Elderly
Catholic Bishops of Saskatchewan issue three texts related to the issue:
The documents released Feb. 6, 2017 include:
- A Pastoral Letter – Living Through Our Dying – The bishops say that the Pastoral Letter is “addressed to our brothers and sisters in faith and all people who have the gift of life. Our aim with this letter was to initiate a dialogue with our culture, recognizing that many struggle to see our opposition to PAS as an expression of compassion. We wanted to articulate what we stand for (more than what we oppose), to recognize the challenge of placing our trust in God, and to extend the invitation to hope that our faith offers.”
- A Pastoral Reflection – Jesus: the Word Who is Life This text is directed towards parishioners, and could be used as a homily (for instance during Lent) or for catechetical purposes. It works from a paschal perspective, speaking of human dying under the headings of Jesus in our living, our dying and our hope for resurrection. The bishops say the Pastoral Reflection “situates the Paschal Mystery as the foundation of our understanding of the meaning of human dying. It is intended to be formative catechesis primarily for our own faithful, but it may well be of use to our Christian brothers and sisters as well.”
- A set of guidelines for priests, deacons and laity providing pastoral care to the sick and dying – Care for the Dying: Pastoral Directives which the bishops say are “intended to give support and guidance to those ministering to people facing the end of their lives. It was our hope to write guidelines which would equip those in ministry to follow Jesus faithfully, while extending his invitation of faith and life to those tempted to choose the circumstances of their own death.”
The three texts were released Feb. 6, 2017 – exactly two years after the Supreme Court decision that struck down the ban on physician assisted suicide and euthanasia. The new reality came into effect across the country when Bill C-14 received royal assent in June 2016. The documents from the Catholic bishops of Saskatchewan were released to mark the World Day of the Sick, Feb. 11.
Other pastoral letters from the Saskatchewan bishops on issues raised by legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia include:
- Pastoral Letter re: Legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia – July 2015
- Pastoral Letter March 2016 – March 2016
Death with Dignity
FAQ – Video 1
FAQ – Video 2