Right Reverend Jordan Cantwell, Moderator
Right Rev. Jordan Cantwell, 42nd Moderator of The United Church of Canada
Credit: 
Wolf Kutnahorsky

In March 2015 the Theology and Inter-Church Inter-Faith (TICIF) Committee presented a proposal and background paper on physician-assisted dying to The United Church of Canada’s Executive of the General Council.

The committee’s proposal was intended “to enable the church to be prepared to respond to a change in the laws of Canada that will provide a greater number of options in end-of-life decision-making.”

The motion approved by the Executive directed the Theology and Inter-Church Inter-Faith Committee “to examine the theological implications of physician-assisted dying and to offer guidance to the Executive on the development of a church statement on the issue.” That work is now underway but will take some time before it is complete.

In the meantime, the Canadian government’s Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying was convened and was asked to table their report in Parliament on February 25, 2016.

Given the tight time frame of the Special Joint Committee’s work, Moderator Jordan Cantwell sent them the submission below to offer her thoughts on this critical public policy issue.