Affirming the human dignity of all and expressing care and compassion to the disabled, lonely, elderly, and dying is part of our call as Christians. In our February 6 blog post a couple of weeks ago we provided a link to the ecumenical Declaration on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide which a number of people in our congregation read and signed.
To help us continue to engage with this issue reflectively, through service, and as citizens, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (the umbrella organization for Canadian evangelicals including the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada of which our church is a part) has just this week posted some excellent resources which may be of interest, including:
- An excellent booklet titled Euthanasia + Palliative Care: A Guide for Canadians containing thoughtful writings from J.I. Packer and other Faith Today authors, with reflection questions, on such topics as: what the gospel has to say about sickness, weakness and dying; palliative care; the issue of assisted suicide and euthanasia; and how Canadian Christians are showing the love of Christ by caring for the dying.
- A call to action inviting us to become informed and to engage our various Members of Parliament about this issue over the next 1-2 weeks, as Parliament prepares to legislate this spring in response to last year's Supreme Court decision which called for exemptions in the prohibition on assisted suicide/euthanasia for certain people who have grievous and irremediable medical conditions. As citizens we have the opportunity to urge Parliament to respond with legislation which upholds the sanctity of life, includes stringent safeguards against abuses seen in other countries, provides for universally accessible palliative care so that no one will feel 'forced' to 'choose' assisted suicide, and protects the conscience rights of health care workers so that no one will be forced to participate in killing a patient against their religious or moral beliefs.
- A number of suggestions for how individuals, families, and churches can be involved in caring for the sick and dying.
A member of our congregation, Geoffrey Trotter, has been involved in the court cases on this issue and will give some more background at both services this Sunday (February 21st), and will be available to continue the conversation informally between the services. Feel free to also contact Geoffrey directly with your questions or to share what you or your Oikos are already doing to express the love of Jesus to our sick, disabled, and elderly neighbours!