TORONTO, Nov. 5, 2004 – The Catholic Civil Rights League ( today denounced the verdict in the acquittal Nov. 4 of Evelyn Martens, who was charged in the deaths of Monique Charest, 64 and Leyanne Burchell, 57, in 2002.

“We support the sanctity of life from conception to natural death, and we know that any liberalization of euthanasia laws will violate that sanctity,” said Philip Horgan, CCRL president.

Citing the direct experience of the acceptance of assisted suicide in The Netherlands’, where he said thousands of people have died without the observance of purported patient protections, and for reasons that defy understanding, Mr. Horgan said that people who don’t believe such laws would be abused are ignoring the evidence.

“Supporters of assisted suicide are already using this (Martens) case to say that Canada’s laws against the practice should be liberalized,” said Mr. Horgan. “We believe that any such liberalization would only lead us down a slippery slope similar to what we have seen following the liberalization of abortion laws 35 years ago.”

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition ( has requested that the Crown review the evidence from the Martens trial and appeal the acquittal if the evidence warrants this step.

About CCRL

Catholic Civil Rights League ( assists in creating conditions within which Catholic teachings can be better understood, cooperates with other organizations in defending civil rights in Canada, and opposes defamation and discrimination against Catholics on the basis of their beliefs. CCRL was founded in 1985 as an independent lay organization. The Catholic Civil Rights League is a Canadian non-profit organization entirely supported by the generosity of its members.

For further information: Joanne McGarry, Executive Director, 416-466-8244