Skip to main content

Bishop Fred Henry (Calgary) calls for the defeat of Canadian Euthanasia Bill C-384

Bishop Fred Henry has sent me the following text which he has issued in opposition to Bill C-384.

THANK YOU Bishop Henry!!

Now, let's hear from the other Bishops in our land.

--------------------------------------------
Euthanasia bill should be killed
Bishop Fred Henry
Opposition to Bill C-384 has nothing to do with fear-mongering, nor special interest groups. The issue is one of wide-ranging medical, moral and societal concern but also widespread confusion evidenced in your own editorial.

A major cause of the confusion is what George Orwell, in his essay, Politics and the English Language, calls the language of "euphemisms, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness." Some of the language being used in the euthanasia debate appears "designed to makes lies sound truthful and murder acceptable, and give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."

The rhetoric of "choice," "aid-in-dying," "compassion," "a new medical treatment," "self-determination," "autonomy," and "death with dignity" tend to cover up the reality that euthanasia is a deliberate act undertaken by one individual with the intention and result of ending the life of another to relieve that person's suffering. Assisted suicide is the act of killing oneself with the assistance of another who provides the knowledge, means or both.

This proposed legislation would reverse the reigning medical ethic which for more than two millenniums has insisted that doctors must heal and never kill. Legalizing physician assisted suicide would irreparably damage the doctor-patient relationship. The patient's trust in the doctor's wholehearted devotion to the patient's best interests will be hard to sustain once doctors are licensed to kill. Furthermore, such legislation would put undue stress on the conscience of the physician pressured by patients and others to take part in killing.

The unmistakable issue is the intentional killing of a human being. It has nothing to do with natural death or dignity, and everything to do with killing. We are NOT discussing letting someone die.

Euthanasia is NOT respecting a patient's refusal of treatment at any time in the course of treatment. Medical tradition and practice clearly distinguish between refusal of medical intervention and intentionally causing death by euthanasia.

Euthanasia is NOT discontinuing treatment when it serves no therapeutic purpose or the patient requests treatment to cease; nor is it abstaining from medically futile treatment.

All treatments that impose undue burdens on the patient without overriding benefits or that simply provide no benefits may justifiably be withheld or withdrawn. In making such decisions, the judgment is about the worth of treatment, not about the worth of lives. The provision of adequate medicines to control pain is not euthanasia. The administration of high doses of painkillers and sedatives to terminally ill patients may lead to a shortening of their lives. It is, however, morally acceptable to administer such drugs in doses which are linked to their painkilling or sedative effects, and not to the termination of life. It is not correct to call this "euthanasia" because there is no intention to shorten the patient's life.

Those favouring assisted-suicide have not given adequate attention to palliative care. The goal of palliative care is to give comfort and thereby enable the dying to live while dying. Letting life ebb away can in no way be equated with active euthanasia. Allowing to die is a world removed from giving a lethal injection.

Palliative care also aims at lessening or managing the suffering of terminal patients. Often they feel helpless, lonely, in the way, and a burden to others. With empathy, comfort care, and affirmation, palliative caregivers accompany patients in their suffering and by their kindness and compassion help the patient maintain a sense of worth and a feeling of belonging, and move from depression to hope.

The legislation of aid-in-dying would pose a threat to the elderly, the infirm, handicapped newborns and to all members of society who are unable to look after their own best interests. This kind of legislation says to them: "you're not important; you're not needed; in fact, you are a burden to others."

Canadian citizens should be assured that their dignity at every stage of life is recognized by government as important. They must be reassured by government that their needs will be met humanely. They must be shown true compassion in the care they receive from society, not through death-dealing, but by being looked after in a life-giving way.

As Canadians, we all have a duty to speak up for the rights and dignity of every citizen. In short, it is Bill C-384 that must die!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Sisters of Life

Here is an excellent website for any and all interested in the pro-life cause. The Sisters of Life are a religious order than began in New York City under the authority of Cardinal Jon O'Connor (RIP) in the 1980's. Their traditional religious lifestyle and clear charism have led them to grow much faster than many other orders. As a result, these wonderful women are moving beyond the boundaries of NYC and have opened a convent in Toronto. Here is a link to a news account from LifesiteNews which explains in greater detail their history and mission in Toronto. The Sisters of Life count among their numbers a woman from our Parish here in Mattawa who is soon to take her final profession. This is one of the greatest blessings that we have received as a parish. Anytime a religious vocation comes forward from a parish community, many graces flow back to the local church. I can only pray that as the Sisters of Life establish their ministry in Canada that more and more women will join
 

Canadian Euthanasia Information

The May 2010 Euthanasia Prevention Coalition Newsletter can now be found at: http://www.euthanasiaprevention.on.ca/Newsletters/Newsletter108(May2010)(RGB).pdf Bill C-384 was soundly defeated by a vote of 228 to 59. Check how the Members of Parliament voted at: http://www.euthanasiaprevention.on.ca/HowTheyVoted.pdf On June 5, 2010, we are co-hosting the US/Canda Push-Back Seminar at the Radisson Gateway Hotel at the Seattle/Tacoma Airport. The overwhelming defeat of Bill C-384 proved that we can Push-Back the euthanasia lobby in the US and Canada and convince people that euthanasia and assisted suicide are a dangerous public policy. Register for the Seminar at: http://www.euthanasiaprevention.on.ca/2010SeminarFlyer(RGB)(LetterFormat).pdf The Schindler family are being attacked by a Florida television station and Michael Schiavo. The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is standing in solidarity with the Schindler family. My blog comments: http://alexschadenberg.blogspot.com/2010/05/att