Bruce J. Clemenger is president of The
Evangelical Fellowship of Canada. You can
follow him on Twitter @bruceclemenger or
@theEFC. Please pray for our work. You can
support it financially at www.theEFC.ca/Donate
or toll-free 1-866-302-3362.
unit may be
the life of
the life of
the next bed.
tion, but we also offer suicide assistance.
The impact on the health-care
system will be profound. The language of physician-assisted death
suggests both the medical profession and public health care may be
involved. Some doctors and nurses
are concerned they will be involved
in an act that violates their conscience or religious beliefs.
A hospital unit may be preserving
the life of one patient while taking
the life of another in the next bed.
Consider a patient with a condition that meets the Supreme
Court’s criteria. Previously the
health-care system and its professionals defaulted to providing
medical treatment intended to
promote and protect life according
to the wishes of the patient.
Now the burden has been shift-
ed. A suffering person, perhaps
feeling like a burden to their loved
ones and to the health-care system,
has a choice to make. And assisted
suicide or euthanasia are now
The onus is now on the patient
to make a decision. Should anyone
ever be put in a situation where
they feel the need to justify their
life, their continued existence?
Society now says you may be worthy
of death and will help you die.
It will be for Parliament to devise
language that will establish safeguards and protocols. With a federal election scheduled within the
12-month timeframe given by the
Court, there is not much time for
Parliament to ensure the safeguards
are stringent and the practice rare.
In its decision the Supreme Court
affirmed the sanctity of human life
is “one of our most important fun-
damental societal values.” But this
value has now been compromised.
It is now up to Canadians who
affirm the sanctity of human life,
from their respective religious or
philosophical beliefs and commit-
ments, to continue to promote life.
The Christian belief that life is a
gift from God and has inherent
worth and dignity regardless of
someone’s abilities or capacities
leads us to promote and protect it.
Now more than ever we need to
live in ways that affirm the value of
life. In our daily routines and those
seasons when we walk in the shadow of death, we celebrate life. And
we respond with compassion for
those who suffer and need care and
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Jan. 28 court decision agreed with
several arguments the EFC put
forward in its legal intervention.
Read Clemenger’s thoughts
on the principles that underlie
the case, namely the freedom
of religious organizations to
maintain their religious identity
and serve the public good, at
There are also links there
to EFC media releases and a
brief response from EFC lawyer
Albertos Polizogopoulos, who
says the decision marks a “great
day for religious freedom.”
Cecilia Wu is the EFC’s new
director of development,
resuming a position she held
from 2001 to 2005. Previously,
she carried out extensive
fund raising activities for the
Banting Research Foundation,
the Christian Children’s Fund
of Canada and the Sunnybrook
Health Sciences Centre
Foundation. Learn more at www.
Quebec leaders listen for
Forty Quebec evangelical leaders
gathered in January for the
province’s 17th annual prayer
summit. The EFC’s Quebec
director, Pierre Bergeron, reports
it was an enriching experience
with a range of evangelical
denominations represented. The
focus was to take time collectively
to hear what the Spirit is saying
to the Church and intercede for
the province. One emphasis that
emerged was the importance
of prayer for Quebec’s younger
generations. The goal next
year (Feb. 8-10, 2016) is for each
participant to bring a young
Video for your church
Foster homes are urgently
needed in Canada. About 80,000
Canadian children and youth are
now in foster care. Make your
congregation more aware with
a new EFC video at www.theEFC.
ca/fostering. It’s free, six minutes
long and designed for use in
churches and small groups.
Our Whole Society, Vancouver,
March 22-24. Conference on how
religion can and ought to play a
vital role in public life. EFC leaders
Bruce Clemenger and Aileen Van
Ginkel will chair sessions.
National Prayer Breakfast, Ottawa,
April 20-21. A breakfast and related
events for politicians and others.
Visit www.theEFC.ca/calendar to
find out what else is new or to
publicize your own event.