The Los Angeles Archdiocese’s Office of Life, Justice and Peace is working with the Coalition of Californians Against Assisted Suicide to form and train teams from parishes to visit legislator offices to encourage opposition to the Physician Assisted Suicide Bill, SB 128, which is also called the “Death with Dignity” act.  

“As Catholics who self-identify as pro-life, this is our opportunity to stand for the dignity of all human life,” says Kathleen Domingo, the office’s respect life coordinator. “Death with Dignity is denying basic human dignity to the vulnerable and dying — people who need to be affirmed and provided for at the end of their life, not killed.

“No human life is worthless or burdensome, no matter what the circumstances. There is a reason disability rights organizations and medical associations are speaking out against this. But we need to rise up with them. Please join us in affirming the dignity of all human life.”

To date, more than 70 medical, community and religious organizations have opposed assisted suicide legalization in California.

They include the American Medical Association, American Nursing Association, California Disability Alliance, California State Council on Development Disabilities, Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, Disability Section of the American Public Health Association, National Spinal Cord Injury Association, Not Dead Yet, Center for Bioethics and Culture Network, California Pro-Life Council and California Catholic Conference.

The Coalition of Californians Against Assisted Suicide has compiled a number of reasons why SB 128 should not become law. They include:

If assisted suicide is made legal, it quickly becomes just another treatment and will always be the cheapest option. This is troublesome in a cost-conscious healthcare environment.Assisted suicide poses a threat to those living with disabilities or who are in vulnerable circumstances. When it becomes an option, explicit and implicit pressure is placed on these individuals to take that option.The safeguards in Oregon and Washington have proven to be hollow as they are easily circumvented. Patients are not required to get a lethal prescription from their own physician and can “doctor-shop.”Nothing in the Oregon or Washington laws can protect from explicit or implicit family pressures to commit suicide or personal fears of “being a burden.”Oregon’s data on assisted suicide is flawed, incomplete and disorganized. The state doesn’t investigate case abuse. It has admitted, “We cannot determine whether physician assisted suicide is being practiced outside the framework of the Death with Dignity act.”

Contact Kathleen Domingo about forming and training teams from parishes opposed to SB 128. Call (213) 637-7236 or email [email protected].