Belgian Brothers of Charity defy Vatican over euthanasia

The group has refused to reverse its decision to allow euthanasia in its hospitals

Catholic Herald

The Belgian Brothers of Charity have defied the Pope and announced they will continue offering euthanasia at their hospitals despite being ordered to stop.

The group said in a statement that it “continues to stand by its vision statement on euthanasia for mental suffering in a non-terminal situation” and that they “emphatically believe” the practice is compatible with Catholic teaching . . . [Full text]


In US Supreme Court Brief, Christian Doctors Cite Conscience Conflicts Similar to Creative ArtistsIn US Supreme Court Brief, Christian Doctors Cite Conscience Conflicts Similar to Creative Artists

News Release

Christian Medical Association

WASHINGTON, Sept. 11, 2017 – The nation’s largest faith-based professional association of health professionals, the Christian Medical Association (CMA,, contends in a legal brief filed with the Supreme Court that its members’ conscience battles parallel those of creative artists sued for declining to participate in proceedings inconsistent with their conscience and convictions.

CMA has filed a brief with the Court in the case (Masterpiece Bakeshops v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission) of Jack Phillips, a cake artist sued for declining to participate in a same-sex wedding, an event that contradicts his moral persuasions. CMA contends in its brief that health professionals face similar challenges to their First Amendment freedoms in situations involving abortion and other matters involving ethical choices and professional medical judgment.

The brief contends, “To force Mr. Phillips to make this cake would threaten a core liberty that is of the greatest possible importance to medical professionals – protection against compelled speech contrary to conscience, including purely symbolic expression. [T]he implications for the rights of medical professionals in the practice of their professions are clear, and disturbing.”

CMA CEO Dr. David Stevens commented, “This case reminds us that a threat to the First Amendment freedoms of one group is a threat to the First Amendment freedoms of everyone. Regardless of where one stands on controversial issues, as Americans we can all agree that the government cannot be allowed to compel any one of us to express ourselves in a way that violates our deepest held beliefs.

“Preserving freedom of medical judgment for doctors is an essential protection for patients. Imagine if the government were to dictate every medical decision and decide every medical prescription and procedure apart from the medical judgment of the doctors who know and care for their patients best.”


Margie Shealy, Christian Medical Association, 423-341-4254

Quebec euthanasia rates on track to match Belgian 6-8 year rates after 2 years

Sean Murphy*

Not all Quebec euthanasia statistics for the first half of 2017 have been made public.  However, available numbers indicate that the province is on track to reach levels  after two years that correspond to Belgian rates after six to eight years. Subject to the publication of the remaining statistics, the following points appear to be of interest:

  • About 18-19 requests for euthanasia were made weekly in the province in the first half of 2017, about the same as the last half of 2016.
  • The percentage of requests that did not result in euthanasia increased slightly from about 37% to 39%
    • Increases in this category, when reported, were attributed mainly to patients becoming incompetent, dying or withdrawing their requests.
  • Of the 22 agencies reporting euthanasia in the first half of 2017,
    •  in 18 the average weekly number of requests for euthanasia increased;
    • in 15 there was an increase in euthanasia provided weekly;
    • in 17 there was an increase in the rate of euthanasia per 100,000 palliative patients.
  • Of the 22 agencies reporting the use of “continuous palliative sedation” (CPS) in the first half of 2017
    • in 15 there was an increase in the rate of CPS per 100,000 palliative patients.

The Project’s analysis is available at Euthanasia Statistics: Quebec.