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

May 21, 2013 By Public Affairs Office

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

“I echo Bishop Matano of Burlingtonin calling this a tragicmoment for Vermont. It is also a sign of an alarming trend nationwide. In thethree states where physician-assisted suicide is now legal, doctors are calledupon to destroy life, rather than to save life and provide much-needed comfortin 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 thename of autonomy and empowerment, seriously ill patients in Vermont who cannot speak forthemselves are at risk of becoming victims of this law.”

“The ‘slippery slope’ that criticsof 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 tofight the future passage of such laws, which offend human dignity and underminetrue respect and care for people with serious illness.”

In 2011, the U.S. Conference ofCatholic Bishops issued a statement on assistedsuicide, “To Live Each Day with Dignity.” The full text, as well as informationon 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 lifeand dignity

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