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End of Life: Legal and Policy Issues

If those who are dying are embraced by their family and their community, they will not seek death, but will live their last days well, and then accept death when it comes.

This page contains information on legal and policy matters.
For Catholic teaching on end-fo-life jump to 

Embracing Our Dying

May 16, 2018 End of Life: Legal and Policy Issues, Reverence for Life

The following statement is from Edward ‘Ned” Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference, on the ruling by a Riverside Superior Court judge that the End-of-Life Options Act is unconstitutional:

“We are encouraged by yesterday’s ruling by a Superior Court judge in Riverside County overturning the state’s assisted suicide law.  Our opposition to assisted suicide is no secret, but this legislation was also opposed by a broad coalition of doctors, nurses, seniors and the disabled community, who fought this bill for many, many reasons,” said Dolejsi. 

January 24, 2018 End of Life: Legal and Policy Issues, Reverence for Life

Organizations opposed to physician-assisted suicide responded to an Assembly hearing held today which was called to evaluate implemention of assisted-suicide by doctors in California but instead appeared to be more a call for expansion of the practice and a lessening of safeguards to protect the vulnerable:

January 22, 2018 Bioethics, End of Life: Legal and Policy Issues, Reverence for Life

Although physician-assisted suicide became legal in California in 2016, its advocates continue pushing to embed it deeply into the structure of California’s health care policies, to broaden its reach to non-terminal patients and to expand the controversial concept to other states.

The last two objectives have not made much headway, especially with many states rejecting the role of physicians in hastening the death of their patients.

January 19, 2018 Abortion & Procreation, Bioethics, End of Life: Legal and Policy Issues, Health Care, Faith in the Public Square

WASHINGTON (from USCCB) - Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chair of the USCCB’s Committee for Religious Liberty, offered the following joint statement in response to the creation of a new Division on Conscience and Religious Freedom within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights and other related administrative actions:

January 11, 2018 Abortion & Procreation, Bioethics, Death Penalty, End of Life: Legal and Policy Issues, Health Care, Reverence for Life

Every year, near the anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade decision, people of faith around the United States gather to witness for life.  Several dioceses in California are planning major events or participating with other like-minded groups to promote a reverence for life:

One Life LA – Los Angeles, Saturday, January 20, 2018

Walk for Life West Coast – San Francisco, Saturday, January 27, 2018

November 2, 2017 End of Life: Legal and Policy Issues, Reverence for Life

Since the California Legislature rushed into law the authority for doctors to provide lethal drug prescriptions to sick Californians, proponents hoped it would create a cascading effect in other states and jurisdictions.

It has not.

June 15, 2017 Abortion & Procreation, Economic Justice, End of Life: Legal and Policy Issues, News, News

California’s Legislature this week approved a new $183 billion dollar State Budget and in the process established priorities that encompass “profound moral questions about who are we as a society, how we view our future and whether as a people we can look beyond our own self-interest to the interest of the larger society.” (In Search of the Common Good

June 15, 2017 Abortion & Procreation, Economic Justice, End of Life: Legal and Policy Issues, News, News

California’s Legislature this week approved a new $183 billion dollar State Budget and in the process established priorities that encompass “profound moral questions about who are we as a society, how we view our future and whether as a people we can look beyond our own self-interest to the interest of the larger society.” (In Search of the Common Good

June 15, 2017 Abortion & Procreation, Economic Justice, End of Life: Legal and Policy Issues, News, News

California’s Legislature this week approved a new $183 billion dollar State Budget and in the process established priorities that encompass “profound moral questions about who are we as a society, how we view our future and whether as a people we can look beyond our own self-interest to the interest of the larger society.” (In Search of the Common Good

June 15, 2017 Bioethics, End of Life: Legal and Policy Issues, Reverence for Life

Physician-assisted suicide (PAS) failed by a single vote recently to move forward in the Nevada Legislature as PAS advocates press their legalization campaign across the country. When the Nevada Legislature adjourned last week, the measure also expired.

Courageous testimony from a California mother, Stephanie Packer, helped impact the debate in Nevada. Packer is a 34-year-old Orange County mother of four, diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in 2012 and at that point told she had three years to live.

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