faith | service | social justice

Communiqué #08 – Social Justice

Mar 27, 2024 | By Position, Communiques, In the News, Media, News Releases, Social Justice, Social Justice

Glenda Carson, National Chairperson of Social JusticeMarch 27, 2024

FOR: Chairpersons of Social Justice at All Levels (new structure) and Chairpersons of Legislation at All Levels (old structure)


Towards a Narrative of Hope:
An International Interfaith Symposium on Palliative Care

Dear Sisters in the League,

On May 21-23, 2024, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, in collaboration with the
Pontifical Academy for Life and other key partners, is hosting a symposium on palliative care in
Toronto. This symposium aims to strengthen hope for end-of-life issues within the Catholic church,
other faith traditions and society. It will unite participants from various disciplines and experts in
various specialties to build a strong advocacy network for effective and comprehensive palliative
and end-of-life care. Needs will be identified, and tools will be recommended to facilitate a better
and broader response to current challenges in implementing palliative care. It will create the
opportunity to build a strong network of experts and practitioners who can help develop and
promote palliative care resources.

Palliative care is a vital healthcare service for Canadians experiencing serious or life-limiting
illness. It is also an essential alternative to medical assistance in dying. Palliative care focuses on
improving the quality of life for individuals through pain and symptom management, emotional
support and personalized care. It also emphasizes the dignity of patients, especially as they near
the end of life. Unfortunately, there are challenges to the implementation of palliative care in
Canada. These challenges include unequal access to services across regions, a shortage of trained
palliative care professionals, a lack of coordination between services leading to fragmented care,
a lack of public awareness about palliative care, inadequate funding and resources, and not meeting
patients’ and families’ cultural and spiritual needs. The symposium aims to address these
challenges and significantly impact the lives of those with serious or life-limiting illnesses.

A coordinated effort, such as that sought through this symposium, is crucial to addressing these
challenges to the effective implementation of palliative care in Canada and making a significant
impact on the lives of those with serious or life-limiting illnesses. Parish councils are asked to
consider donating to this important event, which presents a unique opportunity to shape the future
of palliative care. If your council can assist, please send your donation directly to the Canadian
Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2500 promenade Don Reid, Ottawa, ON, K1H 2J2. The cheque
should be earmarked “palliative care symposium sponsorship”.

God bless,
Glenda Carson
National Chairperson of Social Justice