A Canadian church has held a “crossing over ceremony” for one of its members, hosting a ‘physician-assisted suicide,’ event in the sanctuary that saw the life end of an 86-year-old congregation member.
Churchill Park United Church of Winnipeg, which is part of the super liberal and quickly dying ‘United Church of Christ”; denomination, held the ceremony last month for Betty Sanguin who requested the ceremony. A long-time member suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) which is “characterized by a progressive degeneration of motor nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, “
Legal in Canada since 2016, medically assisted deaths are typically carried out by a physician in a hospital setting, not in church. The Christian Post reports:
At Churchill Park United Church of Winnipeg, the typical sanctuary seating was removed and replaced by comfortable chairs, tables, flowers and a recliner, which Sanguin sat in during the event as people came and went throughout the day to say their goodbyes.
Friends and family visited Sanguin who was joined by her adult daughters and grandchildren, with Rolke leading the ceremony.
The chemical injection to hasten death began at 1 p.m. An hour later, Sanguin had passed.
The United Church of Christ approved of medically assisted deaths in 2017. Speaking of the event, Rev. Dawn Rolke told CP.
We were deeply honored to be able to be with Betty in her final moments and hours and to honor her wishes around her dying process. She was so happy, she was so ready, she was so radiant.