Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders are calling on the Federal Government to focus on palliative care instead of euthanasia and assisted suicide. The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) and others released a joint statement on euthanasia and assisted suicide. The Declaration on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide has been endorsed by over 30 Christian denominations together with over 20 Jewish and Muslim leaders from across Canada.

In light of the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling in R. v. Carter, the statement advocates for palliative care, respect for the dignity of the human person, human solidarity & psychological, spiritual & emotional support as the ethical and moral response in end-of-life care.

The Declaration states that “The recent Supreme Court of Canada decision has brought this issue to the forefront of public discussion and compels each of us as Canadians to reflect upon our personal and societal response to those who need our compassion and care.”  It addresses the underlying importance of human dignity, affirming that “the sanctity of all human life, and the equal and inviolable dignity of every human being … is not exclusively a religious belief, although for us it has a significant religious meaning.” And emphasizes that “reverence for human life must be “the basis and reason for our compassion, responsibility and commitment in caring for all humans, our brothers and sisters, when they are suffering and in pain … to work to alleviate human suffering in every form but never by intentionally eliminating those who suffer.”

The statement insists that Canada’s “health care systems must maintain a life-affirming ethos. Medical professionals are trained to restore and enhance life,” as “any action intended to end human life is morally and ethically wrong.”

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