Dear Brothers & Sisters,
I wanted to have written a follow up letter from last week. However, we have another pressing issue that requires our attention. The Archdiocese, on behalf of the Massachusetts Catholic Conference, has asked us to share with you this important message. Especially now in October that we promote Life, it is very fitting that we take action. I do ask you to make your voices heard in protection for those who don’t have a voice and even for ourselves in the near future. People who are experiencing pain and fear do not need a medication to terminate their lives, but rather, they need people who walk those difficult times with them. They need compassion, not euthanasia. Please read the message below. Both our State Senator and Representative are sponsoring this bill. Therefore, it is of utmost urgency to contact them, since they should be representing our values. It is a slippery slope once such a bill is approved. The terminology of the bill could be left for different interpretations, which could lead to an abuse of the law, that gives room for other people to ask to end their lives. This is what happened in some countries in Europe which today allows people with severe depression to have access to medication to end their lives.
Say NO to Physician Assisted Suicide in Massachusetts
LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD NOW!
The Massachusetts State Legislature is again considering passing into law two deeply troubling bills this session which would legalize Physician Assisted Suicide. The bills, House 2246 and Senate 1331, are identical in text and titled “An Act relative to end of life options”.
“The Catholic Bishops of Massachusetts stand united in our strong opposition to Physician Assisted Suicide. It is an affront to life and a dangerous precedent for determining end of life issues. Physicians are trained to care for the ill, not to hasten death.”1
Here are some troubling facts to consider before you act:
1. The bills would allow a physician to provide a deadly drug mixture to an individual diagnosed with less than 6 months to live that, when consumed, would cause death.
NOTE- The diagnosis could be wrong. Countless individuals have outlived that 6-month diagnosis and enjoyed many more precious months and years with family and friends.
2. No Real Safeguards - A vulnerable individual who is physically disabled, depressed, or fears being a “burden” may be subject to undue influence by others to take the drug mixture, especially if there is a financial benefit as an incentive.
3. The primary focus of elected officials should be dedicated to legislation providing quality health care, mental health care and palliative care to the sick and dying – particularly in the underserved, poor and minority communities that suffer the most at the time of need.
How can your voice be heard?
Call or email your legislators, let them know you are a Massachusetts voter, and say NO to Physician Assisted Suicide! Log on to www.macatholic.org and follow the links to find contact information for:
* Members of the legislative Joint Committee on Public Health who will be considering these bills.
* Your individual State Senator and Representative via address and zip code link.
* Representative: Danielle W. Gregoire: 617-722-2140.
* Senator: James B. Eldridge: 617-722-1120.
For individuals without internet access, please call the Massachusetts Catholic Conference at 617746-5630 for legislative contact information.
1 Boston Pilot - Statement of the four Roman Catholic Bishops of Boston, Fall River, Springfield, and Worcester (December 8, 2017)
Father Steven Clemence