Euthanasia- A Matter of Life and Death

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.

The evening provided our CWL with valuable insights on the arguments used by the pro and anti euthanasia sides. We explored some of the consequences of legalized euthanasia based on the outcomes faced by those countries that have already legalized the practice. One interesting point brought up was how the availability of euthanasia could affect the allocation of money for research into seeking cures for diseases. In addition, the question was raised as to what choices will be made when someone is faced with the option between euthanasia and a more expensive treatment for an illness.

Now that we have a small awareness of this serious matter, what can we do about fighting the push to legalize 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.

 


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