Home Grief Ministry Maryland Catholic Conference gearing up resistance to latest physician-assisted suicide effort

Maryland Catholic Conference gearing up resistance to latest physician-assisted suicide effort

A demonstrator against assisted suicide joins a protest outside Parliament in London in 2015. (CNS photo/Stefan Wermuth, Reuters)

The effort to prevent physician-assisted suicide is gearing up for another debate as legislation that would legalize the practice has been introduced again in Maryland this year.

Jennifer Kraska, Maryland Catholic Conference executive director.

For the fifth time in six years, proponents of physician-assisted suicide (PAS) have again introduced a bill (HB 643 / SB 701) supporting it, according to the Maryland Catholic Conference.

Last year, the PAS bill was narrowly defeated when it died in the Maryland Senate by way of a tie vote. Before defeating the bill on the floor, members of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee amended the bill. The Catholic conference and its allies in the Maryland Against Physician Assisted Suicide Coalition strongly believe that no amendments can make this bill acceptable. However, proponents rejected changes made to the bill in 2019, and have introduced the same bill that has thus far been rejected each time it’s been introduced.

“The groups pushing to legalize physician-assisted suicide in Maryland are woefully out of touch with the people and leaders of our state, who have repeatedly rejected their agenda,” said Jenny Kraska, executive director of the Maryland Catholic Conference. “We are grateful to everyone in our Catholic Advocacy Network, who together sent more than 10,000 messages last year against physician-assisted suicide, and helped defeat this bill, but we need your help again this year.”

Early signs show the Maryland Senate remains opposed to the bill, but the conference remains committed to opposing the effort to legalize assisted suicide.

“The flaws in this bill remain numerous and it continues to lack any actual protection for vulnerable persons,” according to a statement from the conference. “If you stand with us against this bill, please consider joining the Maryland Against Physician Assisted Suicide (MAPAS) coalition for the most recent information on the bill.”