Secular Right | Reality & Reason

Sep/12

29

For Misery in Massachusetts

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Cardinal O’Malley (The National Catholic Register reports):

Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston is leading a statewide fight to defeat the Death With Dignity Act, a November 2012 ballot measure that would legalize assisted suicide in Massachusetts.

He has outlined the Church’s underlying moral concerns regarding the threat to human dignity and patients’ rights posed by assisted suicide in a video homily broadcast at Boston-area Catholic churches. He’s also writing a series of columns critiquing the measure, and he has worked with the Massachusetts Catholic Conference to form the Committee Against Physician-Assisted Suicide, a coalition that includes religious, medical and disability groups across the state.

A Kennedy (Joseph Kennedy III) and The Republican (Sien Bielat) contesting Massachusetts’s Fourth Congressional District:

They found common ground on a couple of issues.

Both opposed the so-called “right to die” ballot question that would allow doctors to prescribe lethal drugs to terminally ill patients…

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1 comment

  • Steve Cardon · September 30, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    This is an issue about which I am very passionate. I have frequently told people that if I found myself hospitalized, with no chance of ever leaving while still conscious, I would arrange for someone to sneak a granule of cyanide to me so that I could end my own life. The problem, of course, is that I may not be physically able to even put the granule in my own mouth, even if someone were willing to bring it to me.

    I already have strategies in place for accomplishing my own exit when I am ready. Unfortunately these preparations fall apart if I am confined to a hospital, before making the decision. What friend could I ask to risk arrest?

    Cardinal O’malley wrote in a letter last year:
    “Our Holy Father in his Gospel of Life has reiterated the enduring teaching of the Church:
    ‘Abortion and euthanasia are crimes which no human law can claim to legitimize.’ From the
    times of the Apostles, the Church has taught us to obey legitimate governments; but at the same
    time the Church boldly proclaimed: ‘We must obey God rather than men’”

    There should be no conflict. No doctor should be forced to prescribe or provide life-ending drugs. Certainly no one is forced to agree to take them. I should be able to set out in a living will, the conditions upon which I want my life terminated. Additionally, health insurance policies should be available which pay for a “specialist” who will either administer, or set it up for me to administer, the lethal dose. This would all be spelled out in the living will. If a particular hospital does not want to provide either the service, or facility, my will would provide for me to be transported to another facility designed for just that purpose. This should, and some day will, be acknowledged by the government as a basic right. I would make an argument citing Roe vs Wade as a precedent.

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