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Bishops decry panel’s approval of SB 128

April 3, 2015

A California Senate committee’s approval of a proposed law legalizing physician-assisted suicide is “sad and disappointing,” the state’s Catholic bishops said.

“We understand and share the concern for the dying expressed at today’s hearing,” Ned Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference, said in a statement March 25 following Senate Health Committee approval of SB 128 in Sacramento.

“It is a natural impulse for human beings,” he said. “But when someone asks for assistance in killing themselves, it is really a call for help, care and compassion during the dying process. California law already allows for patients to refuse extraordinary care, but that is a far cry from aiding a patient in actively ending his or her life. …

“In every jurisdiction where assisted suicide is allowed, we are witnessing a steady expansion of those eligible to end their own lives,” he said. “The ‘safeguards’ in SB 128 are illusory precisely because they are arbitrarily set, with no sound medical rationale. In some countries like Belgium and the Netherlands, for instance, we are witnessing the expansion of assisted suicide to nonterminal patients, those with dementia and even children.”

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