Reverence for Life
We hold life sacred from conception to natural death. We support policies and services that assist pregnant women to make life-affirming choices. We advocate for restrictions on the practice and public funding of abortion. We support stem cell research that does not destroy or clone human embryos. We support patient-focused, quality end-of-life care and oppose legalizing assisted suicide. We oppose the use of the death penalty.
Download a backgrounder on Reverence for Life (updates coming soon)
On March 25, in a packed hearing room at the state Capitol, the Senate Health Committee voted 6 to 2 in favor of SB 128, California’s doctor-prescribed suicide bill. Democrats voted in favor, with the two Republicans opposed. Senator Richard Pan, a Democrat from Sacramento and a physician, abstained.
"Today's action by the Senate Health Committee to advance SB 128 is sad and disappointing,” said Edward “Ned” Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference.
Ned Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference, released the following statement today following a state Senate committee vote approving SB 128 (Wolk) a proposed law legalizing physician assisted suicide. The bill must still be considered by the Senate Judiciary and Appropriations Committees before it reaches the full Senate.
"Today's action by the Senate Health Committee to advance SB 128 is sad and disappointing.
Paralyzed from the neck down, confined to a wheelchair, Ed Roberts could move only two fingers. A breathing tube draped from his mouth, Roberts slept in an iron lung.
For many who advocate assisted suicide, the challenges of Roberts’ life made him eligible for ending that life early. Instead, Roberts lived a life devoted to promoting the rights and abilities of himself and others.
Robert fought to attend the University of California after it said he couldn’t because of his disability, earning his bachelor’s degree, then his masters.
On March 4, the U. S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case, King v. Burwell, claiming that subsidies under the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) are available only for those who enroll through exchanges “established by the State,” as the law is worded.
Dying is just that, an art! According to leading experts in the newly formed medical specialty of palliative care, there is definitely an art to dying, a way to die well. This art, when practiced while alive and well, enables a patient to seamlessly, effortlessly, and spiritually make the transition to the next part of his or her journey.
“Once the genie is out of the bottle, it is not likely ever to go back in again,” Dutch doctor Theo Boer warned recently in Britain, where Parliament is debating its first assisted suicide.
“Don’t do it, Britain! Euthanasia is on the way to become a ‘default’ mode of dying for cancer patients,” he continued. Boer was an early advocate for assisted suicide, but is now strongly opposed.
"Dying is one of the most important moments in our lives. Like all important moments, it deserves thoughtful preparation.” (Fr. Lawrence Reilly, Ethicist and Theologian)
The end of life can be a time of spiritual and emotional growth. But with the onset of technological advances, patients and families may find themselves dealing with complicated treatment plans instead of addressing those spiritual questions.
Fortunately, new options on the care and comfort of people near the end of life have paralleled the emergence of technical advances.
In 2002 the Netherlands implemented a law giving individuals the right to end their own life with a doctor’s approval when they are suffering unbearably. Neighboring Belgium did the same.
To reassure the skeptical, advocates insisted that physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia would be rare.
But the reality since it became legal has been far different in the two countries. Most obvious is the reality that the number of people dying with medical assistance is rising rapidly and it only shows signs of continuing to increase.