Physician-Assisted Suicide

The Real Effects of Physician-Assisted Suicide:

Doctor-Assisted Suicide – Fatally Flawed!

The New Jersey “Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill” Act (A1504/S1702) would give a patient diagnosed with a terminal illness and given a prognosis of less than six months to live, the ability to request a lethal prescription to end his/her life. If passed doctor-assisted suicide would be legal under New Jersey law.

Contact Your Legislators to Oppose Assisted Suicide

On Monday, March 12, the Assembly Judiciary Committee released the Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act (A1504). The bill will now be voted on by the General Assembly. The bill would allow physicians to prescribe drugs to end the lives of terminally ill individuals considered to have six months to live. The facts are clear - in California, in Vermont and in Oregon - states that have passed assisted suicide bills - insurance companies have denied individuals expensive healthcare coverage but offered them low cost drugs to end their life. In an era of cost control and managed care, patients with lingering illnesses may be branded as a financial liability for the insurance company, and decisions to encourage death could be driven by reducing costs. Please contact your state legislators today and tell them that you oppose A1504/S1702.
Visit: https://njcatholic.org/faith-in-action

Testimonials:

"Death with Dignity"
Liz, a woman living with advanced
Kidney Cancer, choses to love her life until the natural end.

"Maggie's Story"
Maggie was diagnosed with brain cancer and strongly opposes assisted suicide. Hear this story of a strong woman with much left to give to her family and society.

"Assisted Suicide: One Woman's Decision to Die"
After telling doctors she wanted to die under Oregon's assisted suicide law, Jeanette Hall came to change her mind about life.

"The Alvarez Family Story"
Sylvia and Serena Alvarez share the inspiring story of Deacon Sal Alvarez - how he fought for justice throughout his life, working for farmers' rights, advocating for access to health care for Latinos, and, near the end of his life, fighting against assisted suicide.

"Cecilia's Story"
Cecilia Soñé, a nurse practitioner, says that legalizing assisted suicide sends the false message that some lives are worth caring for and others are not. Watch to learn how she went into medicine to help heal patients, not to help kill them!

The proposal of a New Jersey Death with Dignity Act is another attempt to undermine the sacredness of human life, and it demands a vigorous response from Catholics and all people of goodwill. 
Today many people fear the dying process. They fear experiencing pain, losing control, being abandoned or becoming a burden on others. As a society, we will be judged on how we respond to these fears. 
The Death with Dignity Act, which is modeled after similar laws in Oregon and Washington, allows doctors to prescribe the means for patients to kill themselves. All suicide is a tragedy and the notion that assisting a suicide shows compassion is truly misguided. In fact, providing a legal option to commit suicide with a physician’s help could be perceived as an obligation by many terminally ill patients concerned about being a burden to loved ones.  We are called to comfort the sick, not help them kill themselves. True compassion alleviates the suffering while maintaining solidarity with those who suffer. People who request death have lost hope and are vulnerable and often depressed. They need our care and protection, not a prescription for a lethal dose of drugs. 
Every human life, at every stage and in every condition, has inherent value and dignity bestowed by God. We are our brother’s and sister’s keeper. We need to reject the Death with Dignity Act. Instead, we need to continue to work to create measures that will ensure that the sick and dying are surrounded with love, support and companionship and are provided with life-affirming solutions needed to ease their physical, emotional and spiritual suffering.

End-of-Life Issues:

WHAT YOU CAN DO

• Follow these action steps to live each day with dignity (National Catholic Partnership on Disability)
• Contact your legislators and tell them you oppose A1504/S1702. Visit: https://njcatholic.org/faith-in-action (New Jersey Catholic Conference)
• Pray using these resources (USCCB)

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

 Learn how ‘To Live Each Day with Dignity: A Statement on Physician-Assisted Suicide’ (USCCB)
• Understand the 'Catholic Perspective on End of Life Care' with this PowerPoint (Office of Respect for Life, Metuchen)
• Remember 'Love Never Abandons the Suffering' by reading this article (By Drs. Angela and David Franks)
• Consider your moral duty with the use of a 'Ventilator' by reading this article (The National Catholic Bioethics Center)
• Examine Church Teaching with 'A Catholic Guide to End-of-Life Decisions' (The National Catholic Bioethics Center)
• Inform yourself and your loved ones of your 'Advanced Directive for Health Care' (New Jersey Catholic Conference)

HOW YOU CAN TALK TO OTHERS
• Use these 'Talking Points' to oppose Physician-Assisted Suicide (USCCB)
• Speak to parishioners using these 'Preaching Points' for Priests/Deacons (The National Catholic Bioethics Center)
• Learn the facts with these Fact Sheets:
          • Physician-Assisted Suicide: It's Not Just About Dying Patients
          • Physician-Assisted Suicide Promotes Suicide
          • Physician-Assisted Suicide: It's Not About Autonomy
          • Physician-Assisted Suicide: It Doesn't Improve End-of-Life Care
• Insert this flyer in your parish bulletin, or on your parish's website and/or social media pages
          • Doctor-Assisted Suicide A1504/S1702