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Doctor-prescribed suicide may not bring 'dignity,' say workshop presenters


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BRAINTREE -- The realities of physician assisted suicide could reverse social stigmas against suicide, de-personalize care for people facing terminal illness, and create undignified final moments of life. Those points were the focus of the speakers at the Braintree presentation of the Archdiocese of Boston's educational campaign "Doctor-Prescribed Suicide is Suicide... and suicide is always a tragedy!" Similar education sessions were held through the archdiocese during the month of May.

"We do not want people to have illusions that this is somehow going to be beautiful, painless, and without difficulties. It may be in your own time, and it may be at your own choosing, but it could be fraught with difficulties," said director of Faith Formation and Evangelization Janet Benestad at the May 17 presentation.

Benestad has taken point on this issue for the archdiocese and said the images of potential suffering caused by life-ending procedures stands in stark contrast to the imagery of "dignity" promoted by supporters of the November ballot initiative.

She said the supporters of these acts of suicide go to great lengths to promote the idea of painless death.

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