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Leading Canadian bishops lament extension of euthanasia, assisted suicide to the mentally ill

May 10, 2023

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CWN Editor's Note: On March 17, 2024, mentally ill persons in Canada will become eligible for euthanasia and assisted suicide under the government’s medical assistance in dying (MAiD) regime.

On May 9, the Permanent Council of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops issued an open letter to the Canadian government and a message to the Catholic faithful.

“Consistent with our strong objection to euthanasia/assisted suicide, we implore the federal government to heed the concerns voiced by many mental health experts, mental health and disability advocacy groups, communities, families, and individuals and to repeal entirely or permanently suspend the expansion of ‘MAiD’ to persons whose sole medical condition is a mental illness,” the bishops said in their letter to the government.

In their message to the faithful, the bishops encouraged “individual Catholics and their families, faith communities, Catholic healthcare professionals and any other people of good will to continue courageously and unwaveringly to witness to life, to tend to and accompany the sick, to resist pressure to support or participate in ‘MAiD,’ and to pray that our law makers may see the harm in what they are permitting to take place.”

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