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 /CNW Telbec/ - 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 formof "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 atreatment. Euthanasia is not a form of care.

We already have the right to refuse overtreatment. We already have the right not to haveour lives artificially prolonged by being plugged in to all sorts of equipment. These aregivens: we do not need a new law to guarantee them. What Bill 52 is all about isallowing 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 redefineseuthanasia as "medical aid."

Genuine aid to the dying means helping someone who has come to the end of her 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 spiritualcomfort 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)

For further information:

Germain Tremblay,  Service des communications, 514 274 4323, poste 227