Saskatoon RC Diocese

Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

Physician Assisted Suicide / Euthanasia is now legal in Canada. In this series of videos produced in collaboration with the Catholic bishops of Saskatchewan and the  Knights of Columbus, explore "Finding the Gifts" of palliative care and elder care in this new era of assisted suicide and euthanasia.  Read what the Saskatchewan bishops wrote about this issue below.

Palliative Care

Suicide Prevention

L'Arche: a community of caring

Care for the Elderly

Catholic Bishops of Saskatchewan issue three texts related to the issue: 

The documents released Feb. 6, 2017 include:

  • A Pastoral Letter - Living Through Our Dying (available at: http://saskatoonrcdiocese.com/sites/default/files/living_through_our_dyi... ) - The bishops say that the Pastoral Letter is "addressed to our brothers and sisters in faith and all people who have the gift of life. Our aim with this letter was to initiate a dialogue with our culture, recognizing that many struggle to see our opposition to PAS as an expression of compassion. We wanted to articulate what we stand for (more than what we oppose), to recognize the challenge of placing our trust in God, and to extend the invitation to hope that our faith offers."
  • A Pastoral Reflection - Jesus: the Word Who is Life (available at: http://saskatoonrcdiocese.com/sites/default/files/the_word_who_is_life.pdf )  This text is directed towards parishioners, and could be used as a homily (for instance during Lent) or for catechetical purposes. It works from a paschal perspective, speaking of human dying under the headings of Jesus in our living, our dying and our hope for resurrection. The bishops say the Pastoral Reflection "situates the Paschal Mystery as the foundation of our understanding of the meaning of human dying. It is intended to be formative catechesis primarily for our own faithful, but it may well be of use to our Christian brothers and sisters as well."
  • A set of guidelines for priests, deacons and laity providing pastoral care to the sick and dying - Care for the Dying: Pastoral Directives (available at: http://saskatoonrcdiocese.com/sites/default/files/pastoral_directives.pdf) which the bishops say are "intended to give support and guidance to those ministering to people facing the end of their lives. It was our hope to write guidelines which would equip those in ministry to follow Jesus faithfully, while extending his invitation of faith and life to those tempted to choose the circumstances of their own death."

The three texts were released Feb. 6, 2017 – exactly two years after the Supreme Court decision that struck down the ban on physician assisted suicide and euthanasia. The new reality came into effect across the country when Bill C-14 received royal assent in June 2016. The documents from the Catholic bishops of Saskatchewan were released to mark the World Day of the Sick, Feb. 11.

Other pastoral letters from the Saskatchewan bishops on issues raised by legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia include:

"Our Catholic faith is unwavering in its respect for and protection of human life from conception to natural death. We cannot and will not participate in or support euthanasia or physician assisted suicide, to which we are morally opposed... Trusting that God is present to and at work in every human life, we are called to minister generously to all who call on us, regardless of their faith, with a bias toward life and our understanding of it as God’s beautiful gift."

- Catholic Bishops of Saskatchewan, Care for the Dying: Pastoral Guidelines in an Era of Physician Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia.


Other resources and reflections:


Death with Dignity


Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide FAQ - Video 1

Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide FAQ - Video 2

How to Get Involved:

Declaration Against Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide: www.euthanasiadeclaration.ca/declaration/

Protection of Conscience: www.canadiansforconscience.ca/

Vulnerable Persons Standard: www.vps-npv.ca/

Euthanasia Prevention Coalition: www.epcc.ca


Diocese of Saskatoon In Video