Canada’s Catholic bishops have deemed the government’s decision to postpone an expansion to assisted suicide laws to include people suffering solely from mental illness “not good news,” citing the government’s unwavering commitment to the legislation.
When California in 2021 relaxed its physician-assisted death rules — easing access to the lethal means for residents to take their own lives — several lawmakers behind the change cited a desire to aid the terminally ill, invoking a sort of legislative altruism.
Vermont Republican Gov. Phil Scott signed a bill May 2 that makes the state the first to change its assisted-suicide law to allow terminally ill nonresidents to make use of it.
The president of the Pontifical Academy for Life affirms his opposition to euthanasia and assisted suicide but believes that to end confusion in the country, the Italian Parliament needs to make clear laws about withdrawing end-of-life care, his office said.
Canada’s Catholic bishops said the possible pressures the country’s new assisted suicide law will place on Canadians with mental illness or disabilities are “all too real, perilous and potentially destructive.”
Catholic Church teaching, like many other religious traditions, prohibits assisted suicide. The church encourages natural, humane options of caring for patients in the final stages of life — including palliative and hospice care.
There are nine states in the United State that allow physician-assisted suicide and pro-life supporters are determined to make sure New York doesn’t become the 10th.
As Canada’s government works to expand the criteria for individuals seeking medically assisted suicide, the head of Canada’s Catholic bishops has written to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau saying his government has failed to provide an impartial consideration of the matter.
The National Council on Disability said in a new study that “the dangers and harms” physician-assisted suicide laws present to people with disabilities “appear to be as significant today” as they were in 1997 and 2005, when the council earlier analyzed the harms of such laws.
A New Jersey state appeals court allowed a new law permitting assisted suicide to continue, overturning a lower court decision that temporarily blocked the law.