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Bishop Henry: 'fight euthanasia'.

Ottawa -- The contentious issue of euthanasia will be pushed forward by the Liberal government with allies from the NDP, Bloc, and perhaps a number of Conservatives. Bloc Quebecois MP Francine Lalonde's controversial private member's bill, C-407, to legalize doctor-assisted suicide, was reintroduced into the House of Commons on October 31, 2005. However, Justice Minister Irwin Cotler is telling Liberals not to vote for this particular bill, as it is too close to an election, and it has too many holes in it. But, this does not mean that Coffer and the Liberal government oppose legalizing assisted-suicide. They will begin pushing for euthanasia after the next federal election, re-igniting a major moral debate in the country. (Editor's comment: It further illustrates the moral bankruptcy of the Liberal-NDP-Bloc majority.)

Bishop Fred Henry of Calgary is again leading the charge against immoral legislation and says that pro-euthanasia language "appears to make lies sound truthful and murder acceptable." In a Calgary Sun article of October 24, entitled "'Mercy killing' bill must be snuffed," the bishop says: "This proposed legislation would reverse the reigning medical ethic which for more than two millennia has insisted that doctors must heal and never kill. Legalizing physician-assist-ed suicide would irreparably damage the doctor-patient relationship ... and put undue stress on the conscience of the physician pressured by patients and others to take part in killing ... It (euthanasia) has nothing to do with natural death or dignity, and everything to do with killing."

Bishop Henry strongly urges that those who look to assisted-suicide for the answer, give attention to palliative care which gives comfort to the patient, alleviates pain and suffering, and enables the dying to live while dying. Palliative care-givers "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 bishop tells the government that they should ensure the dignity of all Canadian citizens at any stage of life. He ended his words with: "In short, it is Bill-407 that must die."

In concert with Bishop Henry, a group of 100 physicians and lawyers issued a strong warning not to legalize physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia in Canada. ("Assisted-suicide means giving people the tools to kill themselves, while euthanasia means doing it for them" Nat. Post Nov. 3, 2005). Their brief reads, in part, "While euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide may superficially appear attractive, they have profound adverse effects on the social fabric of society, on attitudes towards death and illness, and on attitudes towards those who are ill or have disabilities" (, Oct. 26, 2005).

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, REAL Women of Canada, and several Evangelical groups also issued statements opposing euthanasia. In the debate on October 31, Conservative MP Jason Kenney compared assisted-suicide with practices in Nazi Germany. "We know what kind of horror and human tragedy that resulted in," he said (Nat. Post, Nov. 1, 2005).
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Title Annotation:Canada
Publication:Catholic Insight
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Dec 1, 2005
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