On Saturday April 14, the English-speaking Catholic community in Montreal was pleased to welcome Sister Nuala Kenny, SC, whose recent book, Rediscovering the Art of Dying has made an important contribution to a challenging debate in Canada. Since Bill C-14 became law in 2016, Medical Aid in Dying has posed a particular challenge for those engaged in the ministry of palliative care and those physicians philosophically opposed to active or passive euthanasia.
In her talk, Sister Nuala drew on the rich Catholic tradition around what we call “a good death” and of respect for the common good in the complex decision-making as patients near the end of life. Catholics in general and Catholic religious in particular are called to prophetic resistance in a secular culture moving to embrace a culture of death devoid of meaning.
Sister Nuala was joined by Rose DeAngelis and Lana McGeary and of the West Island Palliative Care Residence in Kirkland. Their experience in the practical and spiritual aspects of palliative care provided a important context to show that palliative care is about living rather than dying. The day, organized by the CRC at the Institut de pastorale des Dominicains, was an excellent experience of learning for all.