St. Philip Neri Roman Catholic Parish Blog.

Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide Presentation

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My name is Ethna Martin and I am one of the Parish Nurses here at St. Philip Neri. I am also the Chairperson for the Canadian Association for Parish Nursing Ministry. At our annual conference in Ancaster, Ontario, held June 12th to 15th a major topic of conversation and discussion was Bill 52.

On June 5th 2014 Bill 52, termed as an Act respecting end of life Care, was adopted by a vote of 94 -22 by the members of Quebec’s National Assembly.

The Registered Nurses Association of Ontario has passed a resolution urging both the Ontario Provincial and the Federal Government to engage in formal public dialogue on end of life issues and dying with dignity, including discussions related to assisted suicide and/or euthanasia.

The Supreme Court of Canada will hear an appeal (Carter et al versus Canada), in October to consider whether Canada’s Criminal prohibition against assisted suicide is consistent with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The implications of this are significant and could be far reaching.

In Feb 2014, the B.C. Court ruled in favour of protecting vulnerable people at risk of significant abuse by way of withholding normal feeding and food in the case of Bentley versus Maplewood Seniors Care Society.

Disability Rights Advocate, Amy Hasbronek states – “People with disabilities, chronic illness and seniors are negatively affected by assisted suicide and euthanasia because it leads to the impression that their lives are lacking in meaning and value as compared to other Canadians.”

As Registered Nurses and members of CAPNM we believe in the sanctity of life.    

Our life is a gift from God.

We believe in respect for the dignity of life, regardless of age physical infirmity or cognitive status.

We must also ensure that human life is not valued by economic considerations.

There was a presentation titled “Why euthanasia and assisted suicide are a bad idea” and is hosted by the Saskatoon Catholic Physicians Guild. The presentation was at 7pm, on June 24th in the Welcome area at St. Paul’s Co-Cathedral on Spadina Crescent.

As stated in the Catholic Organization for life and Family, “We would urge you to become witnesses in word and deed. We must be fearless in speaking with our family members and colleagues at work on the subject of euthanasia. We must also make ourselves more available to walk with and support the vulnerable people God places in our path. Our main inspiration for defending the life and dignity of each person is in the words of Jesus; “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of those who are members of my family, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40)

There is also a petition insert in today’s Parish Bulletin, to the Right Honourable Peter MacKay urging him to bring an injunction against the Quebec euthanasia bill 52 and by asking the court to strike down the bill as unconstitutional. There is information in the insert if you wish to sign the online petition.

We would also, as Parish Nurses, encourage you to speak to each other and together, as families, about Advanced Health Care Directives or Living Wills.

These can be obtained from the Parish Nurses here at St. Philip Neri and both Deb and I are available to explain and help complete the forms.

Thank you for your attention.

Follow Up to the discussion “Why Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide Are Bad Ideas” ~ A group of 10 concerned parishioners and 2 Parish Nurses from St. Philip Neri parish attended the above presentation/workshop at St. Paul’s Co-Cathedral on Tuesday, June 24. The workshop was given by the Saskatoon Catholic Physician Guild and addressed urgent questions regarding euthanasia and assisted suicide and the legalizing of both in Quebec (Bill 52). For more information on Bill 52 please go to the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition website: or the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) website:


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  • Guest
    Gwen Wurm July 26, 2014

    An excellent article in our favor for being against euthanasia is in the Sunday Pheonix Sunday July 27/14. You've just got to read. A member of the Dutch regional euthanasia committee for 12 years has changed his mind about euthanasia. Makes ones stomach flipflop what he shares

  • Guest
    Jane A. Simington, PHD December 20, 2015

    I was pleased to read your blog - albeit a wee bit late! I helped teach a founding program on Parish Nursing ministry in Canada at the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta. I was excited to see that the ministry is active at St. Philip Neri.

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Guest February 22, 2020

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