The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a statement opposing legalization of assisted suicide. It makes some very good points, with which people of all faiths, or none, can find agreement. It can be read at http://www.usccb.org/toliveeachday/bishops-statement-physician-assisted-suicide.pdf.
Below in italics is the commentary on the Bishops’ statement released by Californians against Assisted Suicide, a group which resembles True Dignity Vermont in striving to represent people of diverse perspectives who oppose assisted suicide on the reasonable grounds that it poses threats to real choice and dignity at the end of life. It can be found at http://www.ca-aas.com/. We are posting it rather than writing something similar, because Californians against Assisted Suicide expressed our exact position first, and did it with clarity and succinctness we could only hope to emulate. Kudos to them!
Regarding the Recent Statement by the USCCB on Assisted Suicide
(Sacramento, CA) –
Californians Against Assisted Suicide coalition member Marilyn Golden, policy analyst for the Disability Rights, Education and Defense Fund, found areas of agreement with the United States Council of Catholic Bishops’ recent public policy statement on the dangers of assisted
suicide legalization, including:
* The concerns of the disability community,
* The danger to people with depression,
* The significant and dangerous lack of scrutiny and oversight where assisted suicide is legal,
* The potential for undue influence by others,
* The significant ambiguity in the definitions of terminal illness,
* The significant risk to the very people supposedly served: people with serious illness, and
* The importance of continuing improvement in palliative care.
“It is critical that society gains a greater awareness about these concerns,” Golden said.
CaliforniansAgainst Assisted Suicide spokesperson Tim Rosales added, “I think we all can agree that the focus should be on better end-of-life care for individuals and not assisted suicide.” Californians Against Assisted Suicide is a diverse coalition of healthcare professionals,
disability rights groups, civil rights organizations and groups that advocate for the poor and uninsured that are unified against assisted
suicide. For more information about the Disability Rights, Education and Defense Fund you can visit: www.DREDF.org.