In 90 days it will be legal in California for physicians to help people end their lives. Today, following the close of the special legislative session and three months before becoming law, Edward “Ned” Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference, issue the following statement:
“In a few months, California will allow physicians to intentionally and legally assist people in committing suicide. This fundamental change in the doctor-patient relationship will have long-range repercussions for the people of California – especially those who are most vulnerable.
“As medical and ethical experts have shown, a desire to take one’s own life is a call for help. As Catholics we must answer that cry. The Catholic community will do so by enhancing and expanding our efforts to help people be “well” while dying. Quality palliative case, spiritual and emotional support and a respect for our human dignity are the compassionate response – not a lethal dose of drugs from a physician.
“Already we see proposals in the legislature to expand and promote physician-assisted suicide. We remain committed to providing alternatives to this “travesty of compassion.”