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A “Merciless Assault on Human Dignity”

The archbishop of Toronto is given to deprecating himself as “just a simple country cardinal.” In my experience, though, Cardinal Thomas Collins is one of the premier leaders of the Catholic Church today. He’s a bishop of the New Evangelization who does a lot of his evangelical work retail: like treating potential seminarians to early morning pancakes at a greasy spoon—“but it’s a good greasy spoon”—a couple of blocks from his residence. Now that retail approach is being applied to another urgent matter, as Cardinal Collins works one-by-one with members of the Ontario Provincial Parliament to ensure that the conscience rights of Catholic health care providers are not compromised by Canada’s recent embrace of euthanasia.

In Ontario today, doctors who decline to euthanize their patients are required to provide what is termed, in the Orwellian vocabulary of the culture of death, an “effective referral”: They are obliged, on pain of losing their license to practice, to send a troubled patient to a doctor of lighter conscience who will kill that patient. Cardinal Collins is fighting this abomination, as he is fighting at the federal level to make palliative care, currently available to only 30 percent of Canadians in end-of-life situations, universally available. (The Canadian government pays lip service to extending palliative care, but in a single-payer system like Canada’s, euthanasia is the cheaper option—which ought to give pause to the proponents of single-payer health care below the 49th parallel.)

Read more at First Things.

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