Canadian Bishops Condemn Suicide for Mentally Ill Patients
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Canada's Catholic bishops have criticized the Canadian government's plan to allow euthanasia and assisted suicide for mentally ill individuals and have called for increased funding for palliative care.
5/11/2023 (2 weeks ago)
Published in Marriage & Family
The Permanent Council of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) released an "Open Letter to the Government of Canada" and a "Message to the Catholic Faithful" on Tuesday regarding the federal legislation that will permit individuals with mental illness to end their lives by March 17, 2024, even if they are not terminally ill.
The CCCB has consistently opposed euthanasia and assisted suicide, which became legal in Canada in June 2016, and has expressed concerns about the ever-expanding list of vulnerable individuals who are eligible for these practices, including those with a sole medical condition of mental illness.
According to the CCCB, expanding access to euthanasia and assisted suicide for mentally ill individuals eliminates any chance of recovery, undermines the universal and inviolable dignity of human life, and harms society's development.
The CCCB has called on the federal and provincial/territorial governments to allocate more resources and funding to mental healthcare and palliative care, emphasizing the importance of witness to life, accompanying the sick, resisting pressure to support or participate in "MAiD," and praying that lawmakers may recognize the harm of permitting such practices.
The bishops stated that extending euthanasia/assisted suicide to mentally ill individuals who may be predisposed to suicide is particularly objectionable, given the inadequacy of accessible and reliable treatment for patients with mental health challenges in Canada. Enabling or assisting in these patients' suicides directly contradicts national suicide prevention strategies and abandons our collective social responsibility to provide them with treatment, support, and hope through therapeutic interventions.
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