Catholic Church Hosting Conference With Doctor Who Supports Euthanasia

Opinion   |   Julie Grimstad and Ron Panzer   |   Feb 6, 2020   |   9:16PM   |   Los Angeles, California

On Friday, February 7, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles is hosting Ira Byock, M.D. as keynote speaker at the Caring for the Whole Person Conference. This is an all-day conference also featuring Archbishop Jose Gomez. This is NOT a pro-life conference.

Dr. Byock, a palliative care physician, supports VSED (voluntarily stopping eating and drinking) and terminal sedation, with the intention to cause death, as “alternatives for patients, families, and clinicians who are morally opposed to physician-assisted suicide.” (

Dr. Byock’s stance is utterly contrary to the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church, which defines euthanasia is “an act or an omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering” and teaches that this this is a “murderous act, which must always be forbidden and excluded.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church @2277)

Dr. Byock, a secular humanist, is the leader of the COVERT euthanasia movement. He disguises himself by claiming to be pro-life, yet he supports Planned Parenthood, the leading provider of abortions. (

He also claims to oppose assisted suicide, yet promotes euthanasia by both act (terminal sedation intended to hasten death) and omission (withholding of food and fluids to cause death). This is evil and cannot stand unchallenged!

It is shocking that, by hosting Dr. Byock, the Catholic Church in California is leading people morally astray regarding grave matters of life and death. However, even more appalling, this conference is part of a global initiative for churches to promote the secular, tainted hospice and palliative care industry, personified by Dr. Byock.

We must make our voices heard loud and clear, now, in California, to stop this evil from spreading. Please share the following information far and wide.


Friday, February 7, Ira Byock, M.D. will be a keynote speaker, along with Archbishop Gomez, at the Caring for the Whole Person Conference to be held at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles.

For those who can be in Los Angeles on Friday, this is your opportunity to combat the culture of death! Come and protest this “Catholic” conference featuring a doctor who promotes medical killing!

The all-day conference begins at 8:30 am. If we are there to protest when attendees enter, we can let them know the truth! Please be at the church at 8:00 am.

The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels is located at:
555 West Temple Street, Los Angeles

Maps and directions are posted at the Cathedral’s website.

Please contact Vickie Travis at [email protected] to let her know you are going to attend and make your voice heard!

We urge you to come out and support the sanctity of life! 

Bring a sign or poster if you wish.



Judie Brown, American Life League, writes:

American Life League is profoundly concerned about the apparent alliance that has been forged between the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and Ira Byock, MD. Though Byock is welcome in the Vatican the truth about him is that from the early days of the so-called “choice in dying” movement Byock has been working to forge an alliance between the once respectable hospice movement and the newer palliative care discipline.

Both have become tools of the right to die marketers who care more about the economy of health care than they do about respect for the dignity of the human person including those who are near death.

Byock himself has said “Palliative care is a team-based approach to care for people who are facing life-limiting illness and their families, and we focus on people’s comfort and quality of life, decision making often in difficult circumstances such as we’re talking about now and follow them through the end of life.”

“Life-limiting” is a subjective term as is “quality of life.” Where is Byock’s respect for the Vatican Declaration on Euthanasia, #11 which states among other things, “The pleas of gravely ill people who sometimes ask for death are not to be understood as implying a true desire for euthanasia; in fact, it is almost always a case of an anguished plea for help and love. What a sick person needs, besides medical care, is love, the human and supernatural warmth with which the sick person can and ought to be surrounded by all those close to him or her, parents and children, doctors and nurses.”

Caring for the whole person requires a sound spiritual foundation based on the undeniable fact that God decides when death occurs, and He does not need helpers to hasten death.


Brian Johnston, California Prolife Council, writes:

The California Catholic Conference of Bishops (CCC) abandoned the clear teaching of the Church regarding provision of essential food and water for non-terminal patients in the case of Robert Wendland (born 1925, died 2010). They even filed an amicus brief with the California Court of Appeals, stating that what was done to him (terminal sedation) was morally licit under Catholic teaching!

Ironically, the Supreme Court of California found against such thinking: such action was the intentional killing of Robert Wendland. Subsequently, Pope John Paul II also issued an ‘ad limina’ rebuke of this false view of ‘compassion’ in 1998. The Pope issued a direct rebuke:

“The statement of the United States Bishops’ Pro-Life Committee, Nutrition and Hydration: Moral and Pastoral Considerations, rightly emphasizes that the omission of nutrition and hydration intended to cause a patient’s death must be rejected and that, while giving careful consideration to all the factors involved, the presumption should be in favor of providing medically assisted nutrition and hydration to all patients who need them.”

The existence of this papal rebuke has been suppressed by agents of the CCC, specifically through the direct agency of the former Director of the Catholic Conference of Bishops, who was the self-styled “voice of the Bishops.” He also helped in the origination of the falsely ‘Catholic’ amicus brief “In re: Wendland.”

This former director of the CCC is still actively promoting the “positivist-progressive” principals of secular humanism within Catholic health care systems. What was once Catholic HealthCare West, a billion-dollar health maintenance consortium, is now prohibited from calling itself “Catholic” because of its departure from Catholic ethical teachings. It is now referred to as “Dignity” and the Northern California Mercy Healthcare group is still under its control. Unsuspecting Catholic patients are unaware of this change.

The now common practice of terminal sedation being used as “’ethical palliative care” in these facilities brings ironic new meaning to the phrases “Death with Dignity” and “Mercy killing.”

Thank you for bringing attention to this great evil, now being perpetrated in the name of Christ.

NOTE: Both HALO and the Hospice Patients Alliance support the original, life-affirming mission of hospice to relieve suffering, and affirm the value of the life of every patient until the natural end of their lives, without ever hastening death in any way. We promote excellence in hospice and end-of-life palliative care. For more information: and

LifeNews Note: Julie Grimstad is the President of HALO (Healthcare Advocacy & Leadership Organization) and Ron Panzer is the President of the Hospice Patients Alliance.