Interim special

LONDON, Ont. – The Diocese of London Pro-Life Office recently produced a video and pamphlets entitled Caring NOT Killing.

The purpose of the Caring NOT Killing video (19-minute and nine-and-a half-minute versions) and pamphlet is to explain for both a religious and secular point of view, what is euthanasia and assisted, what is palliative care, and what the individual can do to make a difference.

The video and pamphlet were produced for the 1997 Pro-Life Awareness Week in the Diocese of London (April 27-May 3), which resulted in over half of the parishes distributing pamphlets to parishioners. There were 60,000 pamphlets distributed throughout the south-western Ontario diocese.

The diocese was concerned that with all the talk around the issue of assisted suicide, there is little concrete information to help Catholics and Christians in general explain their pro-life beliefs and oppose the decriminalization of assisted suicide.

The diocesan pro-life office produced the Caring NOT Killing pamphlets and video to help fill this void and to allow people to take action supporting palliative care. It is believed this is an important step in promoting a culture of life.

Palliative care is the alternative to killing through assisted suicide, yet few people are aware of it, and of what it offers to the terminally ill. Caring NOT Killing defines palliative care, what it does and how people can get involved in helping others.

Bishop John Sherlock of the London diocese said up-to-date information is crucial in the anti-euthanasia struggle.

“My fear is that if we do not inform people about palliative care options, that when the time comes, we will be unable to mobilize the support to defeat the legalization of assisted suicide,” Bishop Sherlock said.

“Our greatest concern is for the marginalized who would often be pressured into ‘choosing’ assisted suicide if it were legal. At what point will the ‘choice’ of an earlier death become an obligation in a society dedicated to death.

“There are many concerns about what would happen if assisted suicide were a legal option,” Bishop Sherlock added, “and the video Caring NOT Killing effectively deals with these issues. The video is designed to educate people on the complexities of the issue and solicit support on behalf of a civilization of life at a time when far too many of our contemporaries are opting for a culture of death.”

Copies of Caring NOT Killing video and pamphlet can be ordered for $29 (video), $12 (per 100 pamphlets), from the Diocese of London Pro-Life Office, 155 Bruce Street, London, ON, N6C 1H2, telephone (519) 673-3535, 1-888-673-3537, or fax, (519) 439-0207.