Now that Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) is legal in Canada there are new conversations happening in faith communities.
On February 6, 2015 the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that sections of the Criminal Code that had prohibited physician assisted death were no longer in force and that a medically assisted death could be allowed, but under strict criteria of protection. This decision has generated a new set of conversations about medical assistance in dying (MAiD) across the country and especially in faith communities.
In browsing several national church websites (Christian only I’m afraid), I found many official and unofficial comments and articles on the 2015 ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada but only two national churches that have put together a task force to research and explore the new ruling from a legal, medical or theological perspective. The lack of scholarly work will naturally cause misunderstanding of the law from legal, medical and theological perspectives.
These two documents, below, approach the subject from different angles so that reading both will give a broad perspective of research materials and opinions on the topic.
From the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada: ELCIC Study Guide for Conversations on Medical Assistance in Dying
From the Anglican Church of Canada: In Sure and Certain Hope: Resources to Assist Pastoral and Theological Approaches to Physician Assisted Dying.
On Saturday November 3, Grace Lutheran Church and Hamilton Aging in Community will host a one day workshop to discuss medical assistance in death on the ELCIC document led by Rev. Loretta Jaunzarins, Dr. Sparrow Rabideau, MD, and Gloria Nardi-Bell, Barrister and Solicitor.
Blog by Rev. Loretta Jaunzarins, Grace Lutheran Church