-- Patients requesting suicide do not need to be examined by a psychiatrist before receiving a lethal prescription, despite the fact that many of them are suffering from the depression.
-- There is no requirement that the patient notify family members. For example, a husband could receive a lethal prescription without his wife being required to be notified. Compassionate care at the end of life should involve the loving support of family members.
-- Question 2 allows the death certificate to be falsified to indicate that the patient died of the underlying disease.
-- We should be supporting improved hospice and palliative care statewide, not legalized suicide.
Others in Massachusetts oppose Question 2 because they believe that a ballot initiative process is not a good way to deal with a complex, ethical issue involving life and death. The legislature exists to be able to review proposals, hold public hearings and build consensus on complicated issues.
We are all called to work for a more just society where the weak and the vulnerable are nurtured and protected. Our faith demands that we not be guilty bystanders. That's why I am asking you to join me and partner with so many medical and disability groups to stop assisted suicide by voting No on Question 2 on Election Day.
The Archdiocese of Boston has developed an educational website on the Church's teachings on end of life issues, www.SuicideIsAlwaysATragedy.org
. The archdiocese is also part of a large coalition of groups from other faiths, from the medical community, and from disabilities rights groups that are advocating a no vote on Question 2. The coalition's website is www.StopAssistedSuicide.org