What's Going On?
On February 6, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the laws that prohibit anyone from assisting in the death of another person who consents to die, particularly in the case of a competent adult who wants a physician to help them die because of a “grievous and irremediable medical condition that causes enduring and intolerable suffering."
As a result, the Federal Government is now under pressure to adopt laws allowing for both assisted suicide (where a person asks for death) and euthanasia (where the decision to end life may be made by someone else.)
As Catholics we uphold the dignity of all human life, from conception to natural death. We believe that every single life matters. We are committed to protecting everyone, especially the most vulnerable. We are committed not to killing (cf. Ex 20:13; Mt 19:18), but to offering mercy, comfort and love to those who suffer.
Every Life Matters (ELM) is a campaign sponsored by the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton to promote the true dignity of life and death. It focuses particularly on prevention of any form of suicide. It offers a positive alternative to the pro-suicide messages we hear through the media and even from our highest court.
Every Life Matters was launched by Archbishop Richard Smith in support of the Canadian Bishops' Life-Giving Love national campaign for palliative and home care and against euthanasia and assisted suicide. It follows a series of listening sessions in 2015, where the Archbishop heard questions and concerns on these issues from hundreds of people. To see some of these questions and answers, visit our ELM-Questions page.
During the Easter season of 2016, Archbishop Smith hosted a series of special presentations on the subject of physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia. Sessions held at five different parishes across the Archdiocese dealt with different aspects of this important topic. They included prayer, personal witnessing, teaching from the Archbishop, and time for questions and answers. For videos of each session, visit our ELM-Easter Series page.
What Can I Do?
Every Life Matters calls us to pray, to learn, and to act – to commit life, not suicide. Let’s overwhelm the world with inspiration and hope!
- Pray for reverence for all life.
- Ask your physician(s) to protect your life, and the lives of those for whom they care.
- Inform yourself about government plans to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia. Write to your MLA and MP to let them know these practices have no place in health care, and that health care professionals must not be forced to participate in them.
- Talk with your family members. Make sure they understand that you want their help and empathy when you are suffering – not a lethal injection. Make sure they know you will be there to care and advocate for them in their time of suffering.
- Ensure that your beliefs are included in your Personal Directive.
- Live the Corporal Works of Mercy – feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, heal the sick, visit the imprisoned, and bury the dead.
- Spend time with those who struggle in life.
- Volunteer for a good cause.
- Encourage others to commit life by your example.
Every Life Matters Online
Visit the ELM campaign website at www.commitlife.com. We invite you to participate by:
- sharing the Commit Life video with your friends,
- sharing your own Commit Life video and by tagging friends, family, and other people or organizations that have helped you,
- signing the ELM pledge at www.commitlife.com/pledge, adding #CommitLife to your social media profile photo and tagging friends
- sharing your written testimony including some adversity you’ve overcome at: www.commitlife.com/submit-your-story .
For more information, click on the Contact Us link and select Office of Life and Family.