Toronto Catholics to hear assisted dying statement

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TORONTO – A cardinal’s statement on assisted dying is to be read or shown by video today in more than 200 Catholic churches across the Archdiocese of Toronto.

In the statement, the Archbishop of Toronto, Cardinal Thomas Collins, calls on the federal government to protect the vulnerable and those who care for them.

Collins says he’s shocked by a parliamentary committee’s recommendations that would force doctors to at least refer people to a physician willing to help someone end their life.

He also questions giving access to assisted suicide to minors or those with psychiatric conditions, and allowing people suffering from conditions like dementia to pre-schedule the date of their death.

The archbishop is inviting those who share his concerns to visit CanadiansforConscience.ca and join the Coalition for HealthCARE and Conscience.

Collins says the coalition includes more than 5,000 Canadian doctors with “a common mission to respect the sanctity of human life.”

“Physicians across our country who have devoted their lives to healing patients will soon be asked to do the exact opposite,” Collins said.

“They will not be asked to ease their suffering by providing them with treatment and loving care, but by putting them to death.”

Collins is to personally deliver his statement at St. Paul’s Basilica this morning.

Laws surrounding assisted dying are currently in a state of limbo, as the federal government has until June to draft new legislation.

As it stands, Canadians who want an assisted death need permission from a Superior Court.

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