Thank you to Pharmacist and Ethicist, Cristina Alarcon, for speaking to our group on the topic of bioethics. Cristina discussed some of the ethical issues faced by pharmacists, and as well, spoke about the current push to legalize euthanasia in Canada.
Now that we have a small awareness of this serious matter, what can we do about fighting the push to legalize euthanasia?
- First, we must educate ourselves. We cannot effectively fight a movement that we do not understand. The practice of euthanasia comes in many forms and the implications are complex and far ranging. The following resources may help us begin to educate ourselves on the issue. (Click on each link to load the page)
- Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
- Euthanasia Prevention Coalition- BC
- Canadian Medical Association article on euthanasia
- Euthanasia- a document produced for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children by the Southern Cross Bioethics Institute
- Procon.org- a website that shares some of the arguments made by the pro euthanasia side and the anti euthanasia side
- Catholic Organization for Life and Family- Factsheet on euthanasia and assisted suicide. (Click on the link, then on ‘download’ to see the fact sheet.)
- Declaration on Euthanasia by the Holy See, Vatican
- Sections from the Catechism of the Catholic Church concerning euthanasia
Please bear in mind that these articles, like many articles on euthanasia, have a bias. The purpose here is not simply to expose our readers to a majority of material that supports our view. Rather the intention is to introduce our readers to various arguments within the euthanasia debate.
Furthermore, these resources are only a start to informing yourself. We encourage you to further your exploration of this topic by visiting your library, reading newspaper articles, speaking with groups that are active in the fight against euthanasia, and more.
- Don’t stop with educating yourself. Educate others. Speak with your friends and family about what you have learned. You will face those that strongly oppose and condemn you, but please do not let that discourage you from engaging in and encouraging open dialogue and respectful conversation about the issue.
- As Catholics, we are called to take action and speak out against injustice and immorality. As voters, we have a voice within our societies. The debate on euthanasia takes place in the field of criminal justice (which falls within the jurisdiction of the federal government) and also in the field of healthcare (which falls within the jurisdiction of the provincial government). Speak to or write to your MP and your MLA to let them know what your views on the matter are. Public pressure can be influential in shaping the decisions and policies made by government.
- Support those organizations and people that are on the front lines of the battle against euthanasia. Write to them and offer your encouragement. Consider supporting them financially; the battle against euthanasia is often fought in a courtroom, which can be an expensive endeavour. Do take the time to properly research any person or organization before you decide to support them.
It can be dangerously easy to fall into the belief that this is an issue that only affects others, and has no impact on our day to day lives. However, the policies and legislation that our governments put into place shape the kind of society we live in, and the options we are provided with when we or someone we love becomes ill. Let us use our voices, actions and resources to create the kind of society we want to live and die in.