Dr. Moira McQueen listens to a question in this video produced by the Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute.

Dr. Moira McQueen listens to a question in this video produced by the Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute.

June 13, 2016

A click of the computer mouse and one watches a casual conversation between two bioethicists as they define words surrounding death and physician-assisted suicide.

The YouTube presentations, dubbed Catholic Moments, are produced by the Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute and vary from seven to nine minutes long.

Each topic begins with series producer Dr. Bridget Campion asking Dr. Moira McQueen to explain questions surrounding death, euthanasia and foregoing medical treatment.

At the conclusion of each chat, a graphic comes up with definitions surrounding the topic, followed by another graphic listing the sources of the information.

"It's not a 45-minute lecture," assured Campion in a telephone interview.

Take the death video for example. McQueen is asked a variety of questions including: What is the Catholic view of death? What is natural death?

McQueen gives answers that are complete and without jargon.

Graphics follow with definitions about common medical situations. What is cardiopulmonary death? What is brain death? Catholic teachings surrounding death are defined, complete with a graphic showing the sources for the teachings.

The goal of the videos is to "make Church teaching accessible to anyone who wanted to learn about it."


Younger people are the target audience for the new media venture. Campion said the institute noticed the media landscape was changing and knew they wanted to get the message out there in a succinct and relevant way.

The idea "took a while to germinate," but they are pleased with the result, plus the immediate way in which the videos can be reached by the public.

Campion pointed out, "They are able to speak to more people, and they don't have to necessarily be Catholic."

The audience will gain information, plus Church teachings, noted Campion.

Funding for the series included grants from the F.K. Morrow Foundation, Toronto Catholic School Board and Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board.


This is the first in a four-part series and it focuses on end-of-life care. Backed by soothing melodious music, the tone of the conversation and information is informative, non-judgmental.

Response to the electronic outreach has been delightfully positive. The public tells the creators they are "surprised and pleased," said Campion.

The next production is scheduled for September, and the target audience will include Grade 12 students taking science, philosophy and religion. It will continue with the theme of end-of-life care.

"It is sowing seeds," said Campion. "You don't know what is going to take, where the seeds will land."