“True compassion leads to sharing another’s pain; it does not kill the person whose suffering we cannot bear.”– John Paul II, The Gospel of Life
It is easy to fear suffering or death. When those we love are facing chronic pain, mental illness, physical limitations, or terminal illness, we are called to meet them with compassion and in solidarity. Efforts to legalize the use of euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide in the U.S. and across the globe are grave affronts to the dignity of the suffering person. We must remind those who are suffering that their worth and freedom does not come from a pain-free life, but is a gift of God-given dignity they are called to live out each and every day.
Problems with Physician-Assisted Suicide
1. Undermines the medical profession’s true purpose.
The medical field exists to heal, not to kill.
2. Devalues the elderly and disabled.
Some lives are mistakenly deemed less “meaningful.”
3. Endangers those with mental illness.
Those with mental illness are at risk for not being adequately supported.
4. Hurts the poor and isolated.
Those who may lack access to proper medical care face greater temptations to resort to physician-assisted suicide. Some qualify for physician-assisted suicide but not for other basic treatments and, even, hospice.
Man of Steel: JJ’s Story
An unexpected cancer diagnosis caused local New Yorker, JJ Hanson, to question what life was all about and why it is worth fighting for. Watch JJ’s story below.
Find a community that will lovingly support you or a loved one. For more information, visit our page here.
Not sure how to choose the right legal document for your health care decisions? Visit this page to learn more.
The best way to plan ahead in end-of-life decisions is to have a health care proxy. Click here to download a Health Care Proxy Form.
“a caring community devotes more attention, not less, to members facing the most vulnerable times in their lives. When people are tempted to see their own lives as diminished in value or meaning, they most need the love and assistance of others to assure them of their inherent worth.”
The US Bishops have compiled a number of letters, documents, fact sheets, and personal testimonies about the realities and consequences of physician assisted suicide. Click here to read more.
In this compelling interview, Dr. Michael Brescia shares what patients really need at the end of their life.
Learn more about the Problems with Assisted Suicide.
Read this summary of the Fatal Flaws in Assisted Suicide Legislation.
Learn more by visiting the Patients Rights Action Fund website.
Contact your legislator to tell them you oppose physician-assisted suicide. Click here for phone numbers and a suggested calling script.
Spread awareness in your parish using these bulletin blurbs on physician-assisted suicide and end-of-life care.
For more information on how to: Help Stop Assisted Suicide.
Print these ready-to-use bulletin inserts for your parish:
Death with Dignity: Lizz’s Story
Lizz speaks of what “death with dignity” really looks like. She shares how, in her suffering with terminal cancer, she has learned to trust in God’s plan for her life, until the end.