ACTION NOTICE from Connecticut Catholic Public Affairs Conference
The Public Health Committee will be holding a public hearing on H.B. 5898 "An Act Concerning Aid In Dying for Terminally Ill Patients", which supports the legalization of physician-assisted suicide in Connecticut. The hearing is scheduled for Monday.
March 18th, at 10:30 a.m.. in Room 1D of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. This is the sixth year that such legislation has been proposed by the General Assembly.
The Catholic Bishops of Connecticut, along with members of the health care and disability communities strongly oppose this legislation for various reasons. These groups believe that the right of individual choice is far overshadowed by the potential negative impact of this legislation upon our society. The advocates of physician-assisted suicide call it "aid-in-dying" in an effort to remove the negative connotations of the word "suicide", but the passage of physician-assisted suicide would be bad public policy and would create a terrible precedent in Connecticut.
The Catholic Conference does not support keeping a patient alive by extraordinary means against that patient's will. We support true aid-in-dying, which is hospice and palliative care. What we oppose is licensing doctors to prescribe lethal drugs for the purpose of taking a human life, prescribing suicide as a treatment.
Please take note that under physician-assisted suicide laws existing in several other states, the doctor prescribes the deadly medication, but is usually not present when the patient administers it to themselves. In fact, in a large number of cases no medical professional is present. Additionally, the highest ranking reason patients have committed physician-assisted suicide is not due to pain, but to no longer be a burden to the family or a decline in their quality of life. The presentation by the proponents of this legislation that most people take advantage of this type of law to escape unbearable pain is not supported by the facts. Quality hospice and palliative care are the key to truly compassionate end-of-life care.
The Connecticut Catholic Public Affairs Conference is seeking your assistance in defeating this legislation in the
Public Health Committee through emailing your legislators and/or attending the hear. For more information log onto their website http://ctcatholicpac.org and go to the Action Center. There you can find an email template to send to your state senator or representative, as well as information on the schedule public hearing.
You can also sign up in the Action Center on their website to get notifications sent directly to you.