Massachusetts groups rally against assisted suicide proposal

.- Efforts are underway to fight a Massachusetts ballot initiative that would allow doctors to assist patients in ending their lives.

“There’s nothing dignified about suicide,” said the Massachusetts Alliance Against Doctor-Prescribed Suicide, “and there’s nothing compassionate about encouraging it or presenting it as a rational alternative.” 
The alliance argued that “encouraging self-destruction” is completely unnecessary when “hospice and palliative care are common and highly developed.”

Supporters of assisted suicide have succeeded in placing a measure to legalize doctor-prescribed suicide on the 2012 ballot in Massachusetts.

The initiative would allow physicians to prescribe lethal drugs to patients with terminal conditions seeking to end their lives.

Critics of the measure argue that it fails to respect the dignity of human life and promotes the message that suffering renders life unworthy of living.

In an April 13 statement, the alliance applauded the Vermont Senate for defeating a similar bill and called on the people of Massachusetts to reject the state’s ballot initiative in November.

The alliance noted with alarm that the ballot question does not require mandatory depression screening.

More than 90 percent of terminally ill patients who attempt suicide suffer from depression, it observed, and a 2006 study found that patients who wish to die change their minds in over 98 percent of cases once they receive treatment for depression.

If the ballot initiative is successful, it could result in the tragic deaths of countless individuals with easily-treatable depression, the alliance warned.

It also cautioned that the proposed ballot question would allow any patient with a six-month diagnosis to request suicide, even though such a prognosis is often incorrect and patients may be able to live much longer. 

These concerns were echoed by the Massachusetts Catholic Conference, which testified last month against the measure, arguing that it contradicts “a fundamental guarantee of inalienable rights, the first of which is the right to life.”

“Terminally ill, dying patients do not need to make the choice that ends all choices,” the conference said. Rather than supporting the message that such patients are “better off dead,” doctors should be offering “life-affirming care for the life that is left to them.”

“Modern medicine offers many alternatives to allow any patient, no matter their level of pain or suffering, to be comforted in the last moments of their lives,” it observed.

In addition, the law would “exempt physicians from the duty to do no harm,” it warned.

The conference called on the Massachusetts legislature and the people of the state to resist attempts to change the current law, which “treats all persons as possessing lives worthy of protection against harmful intervention, regardless of their condition or proximity to death.”

It stressed that “all suicide is a tragedy and we are called to comfort the sick, not to help them end their lives.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 20, 2014


All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:13-35


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Second Reading:: Col 3:1-4
Gospel:: Jn 20:1-9

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:13-35


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: