BOSTON, Mass. — The Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS) bill has been reported favorably by the Joint Committee on Public Health. It is not to late too stop this legislation from becoming a law in Massachusetts.
Call or email your state senator and state representative. You can find their contact information by clicking the link here: https://malegislature.gov/StateHouse/Contact
The text of the bill (S2745) can be found here: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/S2745
If passed by the full legislature and signed into law by the Governor, Physician Assisted Suicide would become law in the Commonwealth. In addition to the Catholic Church’s teaching that life begins at conception and ends naturally, the following flaws remain in the bill.
1) The six month or less to live prognosis is often wrong. Many patients live for many more months or years after the prognosis.
2) The frail, elderly or disabled may feel pressured to partake in PAS.
3) There is no requirement that a doctor, nurse, family member or any other witness be present at the time the drugs are taken. What happens if something goes wrong?
4) These deadly drugs are picked up at the local pharmacy.
5) There are no safeguards in place to prevent access to the deadly pills once the prescription is filled. If a patient decides not to go forward with PAS or delays the decision or changes his mind completely, deadly barbiturates may remain in the household and available for misuse by anyone with access.
6) A family member who may benefit financially from the death of a relative may exert undue influence on the patient considering PAS.
7) A patient may consider PAS because he or she does not want to be a “burden” to the family. This is particularly true for the disability community.
We must do what we can to prevent it from going any further than the committee level. Efforts by the MCC and other likeminded groups and individuals to defeat these bills are ongoing. You can also help by letting your senator and representative know where you stand on this issue.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Massachusetts Catholic Conference (MCC) at 617-746-5630.