BUFFALO (ChurchMilitant.com) - Bishpop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, New York is speaking out against assisted suicide. His video message, published on YouTube Friday, went out to all parishes and Catholic schools in the eight-county Buffalo diocese opposing upcoming euthanasia legislation being debated in the state of New York. His Excellency asked that lawmakers hear the voices of Catholics on the subject.
"I'd like to take a moment to ask all Catholics and people of good will to let your voices be heard against the evil of assisted suicide," said the bishop.
The Death with Dignity Act under debate would authorize doctors to prescribe deadly medication to individuals with incurable, irreversible illnesses that have been medically confirmed to lead to death within six months.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches: "Intentional euthanasia, whatever its forms or motives, is murder. It is gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator" (2324).
"Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons. It is morally unacceptable" (2277).
The bishop continued in his video, "Proponents of this legislation call it 'Dying with Dignity,' but the Catholic Church hardly considers it 'dignified' to go against God's plan and choose the time and method of one's death."
"The end of life for the terminally ill can be long and excruciating," he continued, "but so many advancements have been made in palliative care that we often do have options of whether to die at home or in a hospice setting, with whatever level of pain management we choose. The choice of when and how we die is in God's hands ... not ours."
Close to 20 states, including New York, are considering assisted suicide measures.