New York City, N.Y., Nov 23, 2016 / 00:54 am
As the push for physician-assisted suicide continues throughout the country, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York is asking the faithful to step up in opposing anti-life measures.
“Catholics must join medical professionals, disability rights groups, and other concerned citizens in fighting for the authentic care of those facing terminal illness,” he said.
The cardinal, who heads the U.S. bishops’ committee for pro-life activities, reflected on recent ballot measures and legislative acts permitting assisted suicide.
“Seven jurisdictions in the United States have now opened the legal door to this dangerous abuse of medicine, an alarming trend that must be stopped for the sake of human dignity and the sacredness of life,” he said, adding that “doctor-assisted suicide must now be opposed with renewed vigor.”
Legislatures in Oregon, Washington, California, and Vermont have legalized assisted suicide, as has the Montana Supreme Court. On Election Day this year, voters in Colorado approved a ballot measure to legalize the practice. And a few weeks ago, the Washington D.C. city council passed a similar bill, although it will need to be approved by Congress in order to take effect.
The D.C. proposal, Cardinal Dolan warned, “is the most expansive and dangerous so far. It goes beyond assisted suicide by allowing third parties to administer the lethal drugs opening the door even further to coercion and abuse.”
“Every suicide is tragic, whether someone is young or old, healthy or sick,” the cardinal emphasized. “But the legalization of doctor-assisted suicide creates two classes of people: those whose suicides are to be prevented at any cost, and those whose suicides are deemed a positive good.”
“We remove weapons and drugs that can cause harm to one group, while handing deadly drugs to the other, setting up yet another kind of life-threatening discrimination,” he continued. “This is completely unjust. Our inherent human dignity does not wane with the onset of illness or incapacity, and so all are worthy of protection.”