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Canadian pastors are being called on to walk closely with parishioners who have chosen medically assisted death. Because of the expansion and increased acceptability of MAiD in Canada, many pastors have already experienced this new reality, and for others it’s only a matter of time.
These pastors might also be walking with congregants who are trying to figure out how to love and be present with family members choosing MAiD when they themselves do not agree with it. It is an excruciating experience for them.
The interviews with pastors found in the cover article of the May/June issue of Faith Today
illuminate this new reality.
“With permissibility comes popularity,” states the article. Pastors share that they are seeing MAiD more and more frequently. “And once a door opens, it never closes again,” says one.
The prevalence of MAiD is evident to anyone reading the obituaries in any of Canada’s major newspapers. Euthanasia is becoming more common and if left unchecked it will continue to expand in Canada.
This is an issue on which the EFC is spending considerable time and effort, with your help, because it is literally a life-and-death moment in Canada. The choices our country makes now on expanding euthanasia will either save lives or hasten the deaths of many more Canadians.
Right now, a special committee of MPs and Senators is reviewing Canada’s laws on medical assistance in dying. The committee will also consider whether to expand the laws so that mature minors (youth under 18 years old) can be eligible for euthanasia or assisted suicide.
The MAiD laws were already expanded last year to make people with disabilities or chronic illness eligible for euthanasia or assisted suicide, even if they were not nearing death. Reports have indicated that people with disabilities are choosing to end their lives via MAiD because they feel they have no better choice; the support they need is not available and they feel they cannot afford to live.
“People living with disabilities describe the effect of this change as devastating, a fast track to death when the supports to live are not available,” says Julia Beazley, the EFC’s director of public policy.
In March 2023, just less than a year away, people with mental illness as their only underlying medical condition will become eligible for euthanasia and assisted suicide. This change was made to the laws in 2021 but did not take effect for two years.
The special committee’s mandate is now to study mental illness, the protection of people with disabilities, the state of palliative care in Canada, as well as whether to expand the law even further to allow mature minors to be eligible, and those who are not able to consent at the time MAiD is provided.
The committee will report back to Parliament in the fall with recommendations on whether to expand or change the laws.. The government will take the committee’s report into consideration as it drafts new laws.
The EFC is very concerned that the committee will recommend expanding access to MAiD to mature minors and by advance directive. The EFC is making a written submission to the committee, which is the avenue available to concerned groups. We are strongly urging the government to stop the expansion of MAiD.
Your gifts help make this work possible, but there is another additional, hands-on role for EFC donors to take. Could you join with us even further and contact your Member of Parliament to share your concerns? This is a crucial time to let your MP know that you don’t want MAiD to be expanded further.
Rest assured, our approach to euthanasia and assisted suicide is based in biblical principles. Life is a gift from God to respect and protect through all its stages. And God calls us to care for one another, particularly for those who are vulnerable.
How you can help
Also in this issue:
- Please partner with us in advocating to stop the expansion of MAiD. Find your MP’s name and contact information at ourcommons.ca/members/en.
- Please send the enclosed postcards or a letter in your own words. For even more impact, call your MP’s office to tell them you’ve sent a letter or postcard and would like a response.
- If you don’t receive Faith Today, email us to receive this important issue at [email protected].
Faith Today awarded by Evangelical Press Association, a few words from
Love Is Moving writer Taleshia Patterson, and updates on Canada's most immediate issues.