The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) welcomes the report released today by the Parliamentary Committee on Palliative and Compassionate Care, entitled Not to be forgotten: Care of Vulnerable Canadians.

"We are pleased that a number of our Members of Parliament have undertaken these extensive consultations and published this report out of their personal concern to see established in our country a national system of compassionate and effective care for some of our most vulnerable citizens," said Archbishop Richard Smith, President of the CCCB. "The Bishops of Canada share that concern. The inherent beauty and dignity of human life from its beginning until its natural end summons us to attend to this need without delay.

"Palliative and compassionate care is an essential priority. It respects the dignity of all people, and responds to all dimensions of their humanity, including the spiritual. Furthermore, it responds to the most basic hopes and concerns of all humanity – that each dying person be assured of compassion, comfort, support and a human presence in ways that truly respect and protect the dignity and beauty of human life.

"As follow-up to this report by the Parliamentary Committee, the Catholic Bishops of Canada will carefully monitor how our national, provincial and municipal institutions implement these important recommendations on palliative care."


- Letter by CCCB President to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, urging the federal government to focus on the needs for palliative care in Canada (April 8, 2010)

- Brief presented by the Catholic Organization for Life and Family to the Parliamentary Committee on Palliative and Compassionate Care

- Press Release - Catholic Health Alliance of Canada