Dying deserve real dignity, say bishops

Canadian bishops have objected to a draft law facilitating assisted suicide and euthanasia in the province province of Seskatchewan, warning of how it would endanger society’s weakest and oldest members.

Criticising the bill’s euphemistic language, the bishops objected to terms like “medical assistance to die,” “assisted death” and “to die with dignity.” Such language, they said, masked the realities of euthanasia, which they said was “nothing other than deliberately taking the life of a person” and of assisted suicide, which “intentionally provides to a person the knowledge and instruments to commit suicide.”

The bishops also stressed the need to encourage palliative care, intended to reduce suffering in a person’s last days, and urged the importance of conscientious objection by health workers determined to defend “the human dignity of all persons, especially the most vulnerable”.