Euthanasia in Quebec: Obtaining accurate statistics on medically assisted deaths across Canada is almost impossible and could lead to abuse, according to opponents of the practice.
The mentally ill and consenting minors in Canada should be allowed to choose physician-assisted suicide, a federal parliamentary committee recommended. The report was introduced in the House of Commons Thursday.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has invited dioceses to prepare for the worldwide Synod of Bishops with a set of questions on marriage and family life, but the conference said any questionnaire results will remain private.
This historic decision does away with most provisions in law prohibiting physician-assisted suicide, giving the government a year to craft legislation.
Liberation theology, which interprets the teachings of Christ in relation to liberation from unjust social, economic and political conditions, is rooted in the Bible and the life of Jesus, said the priest who developed the concept nearly 50 years ago.
Dominican Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez told an audience Nov. 7 at St. Paul University in Ottawa that "theology is a hermeneutic of hope. Theology touches on the motive, the story of our Lord in history."
Canada's Catholic bishops examine the church's connection with other Christian churches in a document marking the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council's decree on ecumenism.
Titled "A Church in Dialogue: Towards the Restoration of Unity among Christians," the document reviews the work of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops with various ecumenical partners including the Orthodox, the Anglican Church of Canada, the United Church of Canada and others since the council.
Quebec's euthanasia Bill 52 will come to a vote in February, and the province's bishops say it "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," the bishops said in a Jan. 23 statement.
"To cause death to a sick person is not to care for him," the bishops said. "A lethal injection is not a treatment. Euthanasia is not a form of care."
As Archbishop James Weisgerber of Winnipeg, Manitoba, prepares to retire, he remains concerned about justice for Canada's aboriginal peoples.
"I don't think there is any issue facing Canadians more serious than this one," Weisgerber said Oct. 28, the day Pope Francis announced that he had accepted the archbishop's resignation. "And I don't think we're taking it that seriously."
As the Quebec government considers an end-of-life bill that would allow euthanasia, Quebec's Catholic bishops warn that society faces a crucial choice.
Pro-life and other groups joined forces to denounce a bill governing end-of-life care introduced by the Quebec government Wednesday as a form of Belgian-style euthanasia.
"This is about doctors lethally injecting patients," said Alex Schadenberg, executive director of Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, echoing the concerns of several organizations, including the Catholic Organization for Life.
Schadenberg said the bill redefines palliative care to include "terminal medical sedation" and "medical aid in dying," which he called a euphemism for euthanasia.