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Cardinal O’Malley: New Vermont Assisted Suicide Law Reveals Slippery Slope

May 21, 2013

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, warned of an “alarming trend nationwide” after Vermont legalized physician-assisted suicide, May 20. He called for “all people of good will to fight the future passage of such laws.”

“I echo Bishop Matano of Burlington in calling this a tragic moment for Vermont. It is also a sign of an alarming trend nationwide. In the three states where physician-assisted suicide is now legal, doctors are called upon to destroy life, rather than to save life and provide much-needed comfort in times of pain and distress,” Cardinal O’Malley said.

“The new Vermont law goes beyond that in place in Oregon and allows the state in the coming years to drop even the so-called 'safeguards' against abuse,” Cardinal O’Malley said. “In the name of autonomy and empowerment, seriously ill patients in Vermont who cannot speak for themselves are at risk of becoming victims of this law.”

“The ‘slippery slope’ that critics of the euthanasia agenda have long warned against is in full view here,” Cardinal O’Malley said. “I invite Catholics and all people of good will to fight the future passage of such laws, which offend human dignity and undermine true respect and care for people with serious illness.”

In 2011, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement on assisted suicide, “To Live Each Day with Dignity.” The full text, as well as information on the Catholic Church’s advocacy on end-of life issues, is available online:


Keywords: USCCB, Catholic bishops, Cardinal Seán O’Malley, Boston, Bishop Salvatore Matano, Burlington, Vermont, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, pro-life, assisted suicide, “To Live Each Day with Dignity”, euthanasia, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, end-of-life issues, palliative care, human life and dignity

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Don Clemmer
O: 202-541-3206


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