From staff reports

Pro-life advocates are urging state residents to contact their legislators in opposition to a bill that would allow terminally ill adults to end their lives.

On March 25, the Aid in Dying bill, A1504/S1072, will be voted on in both the state Senate and Assembly.

“We oppose physician-assisted suicide because in an era of cost control, patients with lingering illnesses may be branded as an economic liability, and decisions to encourage death could be driven by cost," Patrick Brannigan, executive director of the New Jersey Catholic Conference, recently said.

“The facts are clear – in states that passed assisted suicide laws, insurance companies have denied individuals health care coverage but offered them low-cost drugs to end their life.”

The bill, which goes against Catholic Church teaching on the dignity of all human life, would allow adults who receive a terminal diagnosis to obtain self-administered medication to end their lives. Advocates argue assisted suicide gives the terminally ill a “death with dignity.” Opponents cite unforeseen consequences, including abuse of power when it comes to those with disabilities, the message it sends to young people and those struggling with depression and the ability of insurance companies to deny life-saving medications in exchange for those that would take a life.

In February, after the legislation advanced through committees in Trenton, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., wrote a letter to lawmakers, saying, “Physicians pledge an oath to ‘do no harm.’ Taking a life before natural death violates that vow, and there is no turning back.  Their duty – and our duty as caregivers and legislators – is to assist those who are facing death, not to kill them.”

The NJCC’s Action Alert provides a link for New Jerseyans to contact state legislators to voice their opposition:

“Time is extremely short, so we must act quickly to have our opposition heard prior to Monday’s vote,” said Rachel Hendricks, diocesan coordinator for Respect Life Ministries.