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Diocese of Wilmington on physician-assisted suicide: ‘All people of good will’ should stand in defense of most vulnerable

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Catholic Diocese of Wilmington

Statement from The Diocese of Wilmington, June 26, 2024

Yesterday, we were disheartened to learn that the Delaware State Senate, in an 11-10 vote, passed HB 140. This bill legalizes suicide in Delaware by drug overdose prescribed by doctors, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners for people who are deemed to be in the last months of life.

The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington has consistently opposed assisted suicide and every attempt to legalize it.  We condemn these efforts because of our religious belief that all life is sacred and should be protected from conception to natural death.

But all people of good will should recognize that this bill encourages the most vulnerable (e.g., the aged, the dependent, those with disabilities) and those who need our care the most to see themselves as merely a burden for their loved ones and unduly influence a decision to end their life.

Often, those “deemed” to be in his/her last months of life are suffering from depression or a treatable disease, and this becomes a permanent solution to a temporary problem. In reality, this “solution” is never acceptable; there is no justification to take an innocent life.

Furthermore, it is a violation of a central principle in the medical profession that one is called to heal and preserve life and “do no harm” and turns those who should care for society’s health into agents of death.

The bill now goes to Governor John Carney who can veto the bill, sign it into law, or let it become law without his signature.

We ask Delaware Catholics and all people of good will to contact Governor Carney and ask him to stand up for the elderly, sick and disabled, by vetoing this dangerous and immoral legislation.

We ask all Christians and those of other faith traditions to join the Catholic community in prayer for our Governor, that he will not allow Delaware to be the latest state to allow government-sanctioned suicide.