Walk with the Suffering
I’d like to share with you a powerful statement by my brother Bishop Checchio of the Diocese of Metuchen on the Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act, which recently passed in New Jersey. Here’s an excerpt:
On August 1, the new law, the “Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act,” [went] into effect in our state. It permits physician-assisted suicide for competent, New Jersey residents over the age of 18 who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and have six months or less to live. Physician-assisted suicide is suicide by a patient facilitated by means (as a drug prescription) or by information (as an indication of a lethal dosage) provided by a physician aware of the patient’s intent.
The legal permission now granted to this practice does not change the moral law. With this law, the elderly could feel undue pressure to view this as an option to prevent being a burden to others and young people will begin to think that people can and should be disposable. Indeed, with this law there will be a further desensitization of the value of human life.
As Catholics, we are called to show a different approach to death and the dying; one which accompanies every person as they are dying and allows them to love and to be loved to the very end. The purposeful termination of human life via a direct intervention is not a humane action whatsoever. We ought to look instead to minimizing the pain and suffering of the dying and those who are tempted to end their lives.
Click here to read the rest of his statement.