TORONTO, January 30, 2006 – The Catholic Civil Rights League ( today commented on the case of Marielle Houle of Montreal, who on Jan. 27 was given a sentence of three years probation after pleading guilty to assisted suicide in the death of her son, Charles Fariala. Evidence showed that she had placed a plastic bag over his head to cause suffocation.

“Much as one sympathizes with family members in difficult situations, this is the type of case that shows why assisted suicide and euthanasia should remain illegal,” said League President Philip Horgan. “Charles Fariala was in the early stages of multiple sclerosis. By all accounts he was depressed, and feared the suffering that he believed was ahead for him. He deserved care and treatment for depression, not death.

“If euthanasia and assisted suicide were not crimes, not only the ill and disabled, but even the depressed, would be at risk of premature death at the hands of those closest to them, who are usually themselves in an overwrought emotional state. The people involved in these situations deserve better home care and other supports such as counseling,” said Mr. Horgan. “Implying that it’s alright to kill someone with a disability or an incurable but livable illness such as MS sends the wrong signal about the inherent dignity of all human life; many people with these conditions live full, active lives for many years.”

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;