An opinion on the Supreme Court’s ruling on physician assisted suicide

February 7, 2015
Karen Medland
This comment was prepared in response to request from journalist Susan Lazaruk of The Province newspaper.
As someone who has walked with people on that part of life's journey that we call death, I know that it is not an easy journey for all. It is a privilege to be asked to help others in such moments to listen to their hopes and fears and to help them strive for a "good death".

But sometimes that journey is painful and long and it is in such times that the question of dying with dignity is raised. 
In The United Church of Canada we speak of a God who is with us in life, in death and life beyond death. We celebrate a creator who knows us before we are formed in our mother's womb. This is a God who desires life abundant for all creation and from whom we are not separated in our deaths. 
I believe that we must listen to the struggles of those involved in such a decision and trust them in making informed choices about their lives. 
I believe that the church should be a safe place for people to have conversations about this difficult subject. Hastening death should never be our first choice but for some who have suffered in ways we cannot imagine physician assisted suicide may be the right decision.
Rev Kare Medland