The following comes from an October 5 California Catholic Conference release:
The Bishops of California have issued the following statement after Governor Brown signed ABx2-15 (Eggman) the End-of-Life Option Act:
“The physician-assisted suicide legislation (ABx2-15) signed today by Governor Brown makes it legal to prescribe a lethal dose of drugs to assist terminally ill patients to take their own life. This law stands in direct contradiction to providing compassionate, quality care for those facing a terminal illness.
“Pope Francis has warned us about our “throw away culture.” Have we become so callous in protecting the sacredness of life that we easily approve of a physician handing over a lethal dose of drugs to someone to end their life at their most vulnerable moment when they most need to be cared for with love and attention?
“We are particularly disappointed that the very real concerns and risks posed to our brothers and sisters in vulnerable communities of the disabled and elderly have been consistently ignored by our state’s elected officials. In a health care system grappling with constantly escalating costs, the elderly and disabled are in great peril now that assisted suicide has become legal. Application of such a law elsewhere shows that the option to offer the low-cost alternative of lethal drugs instead of proper medical care is a temptation not long resisted.
“For vulnerable people, this isn’t compassion. There’s nothing in this law that supports or promotes the common good. This bill does nothing to validate the lives of the vulnerable. If anything, this bill says just the opposite and only serves to increase their emotional burden. And it facilitates subtle but potent pressures on the elderly and the disabled to end their lives rather than become a financial or emotional burden on their children.