‘This is about killing people’: Leading voice against euthanasia warns of pro-euthanasia efforts

SabolScahdenberg Executive Director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition Alex Schadenberg speaks with “EWTN News Nightly” Host Tracy Sabol on Feb. 13, 2024. | Credit: “EWTN News Nightly”

The director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) said during an appearance on EWTN News this week that Catholics must be “vocal” against efforts to expand assisted suicide, warning that the issue is “about killing people.” 

EPC Executive Director Alex Schadenberg told “EWTN News Nightly” anchor Tracy Sabol on Tuesday that there are “20 states in the U.S. that are debating an assisted suicide bill.”

“This is their most active year ever and I think what they’re thinking is they’re unsure what’s going to happen in the election this year, so they’re pushing very hard in the states they hope to win in,” he said, naming Maryland, New York, and Massachusetts in particular.

“There’s several states where they’re pushing very hard, and they put a lot of money into this,” he said. “I’m really thinking that they’re absolutely convinced that Americans are ready for this.”

The Virginia Senate passed an assisted suicide bill last Friday, while Maryland has seen renewed interest with a bill called the End of Life Option Act. Other states considering assisted suicide this year include Arizona, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition’s mission is to combat the growing acceptance of assisted suicide through advocacy and education. Assisted suicide is legal in 10 states in the U.S.: Washington, Oregon, California, Montana, New Mexico, Vermont, Colorado, Hawaii, New Jersey, and Maine.

When asked by Sabol about what the faithful can do to combat assisted suicide, Schadenberg responded: “Well, I think we have [to be] very clear and not play with the words. We have to say what this is. This is about killing people.”

“We understand that a lot of people go through difficult times in their life, so the other side is playing the whole card about suffering,” he said. “And we understand this is a reality, but at the same time we know, this is about killing people.”

“We need to be caring for people, not killing them,” he said. “And the other side changed the language and they want to call it something else; and no, we have to say what it is and stick to the point and be very vocal about that. Silence is not our friend.”

The director also cited the situation in Canada, where one Catholic hospital is set to face a lawsuit over its refusal to take part in the deliberate ending of a patient’s life. Supporters of the group Dying with Dignity Canada are planning a legal challenge against St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver because the Catholic medical center does not allow physician-assisted suicide.

The Archdiocese of Montreal is also currently suing the attorney general of Quebec, with Church officials demanding an exception to an assisted suicide bill passed last year. The bill would force the Catholic St. Raphael Palliative Care Home and Day Centre to offer physician-assisted suicide. 

“Bill 11 was passed by the government last June and it forces all institutions that provide medical treatment to do euthanasia,” Schadenberg said. 

“So this has been the standoff situation where St. Raphael’s is owned by the Archdiocese of Montreal, and so they’re now suing the Quebec government to prevent St. Raphael’s from being forced to do euthanasia.”

Schadenberg told Sabol he sees hope for the pro-life movement. Suicide bills “lost two years in a row in every single state,” he said. “So in the last two years every state that had an assisted suicide bill — they were all defeated. So that’s kudos to those who have been fighting assisted suicide.”

“But of course, ‘the killing lobby,’ they’re going to keep going,” he said. “And that’s the sad reality, and they’re pushing very hard this year.”

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