The Delaware Catholic Advocacy Network is urging people to contact legislators to demonstrate opposition to a physician-assisted suicide bill that could be voted on in mid-April.
“House Bill 160, the so called ‘End of Life Options Act,’ would legalize physician-assisted suicide in Delaware,” according to a statement from the advocacy group. “Some predict that this profoundly troubling legislation could be voted on the week of April 16, 2018. The bill’s sponsor, Representative Paul Baumbach (D-Newark), and advocates for legalizing this practice, claim to be nearing the number of votes required to pass the legislation in the House of Representatives.
“We need your help to stop this bill from becoming law.”
The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, other faith groups, the Medical Society of Delaware, the Delaware Health Care Association and advocates in the disabilities community are among those opposing the legislation.
In a January letter to Delaware legislators, Bishop Malooly urged lawmakers to vote no.
“The Catholic Church is opposed to physician-assisted suicide legislation because it seeks to legalize and normalize the intentional taking of human life,” the bishop wrote. “This deliberate activity violates the most basic tenets of our belief in the sanctity of life and simultaneously poses dangers to vulnerable populations.”
The advocacy group describes numerous flaws in the bill. Among the issues cited include the bill “would legalize and normalize participation in the intentional taking of human life by members of the medical profession; insufficient safeguards for the disabled and for the elderly; it would require physicians and others to make misstatements on official records, stating the underlying terminal illness must be listed as the cause of death on the death certificate, when in fact the cause was suicide; and a lack of a requirement for a psychological examination prior to the administration of the lethal dose.”