National Catholic Reporter

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Euthanasia

Half of US states consider right-to-die legislation

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More than a dozen states, plus the District of Columbia, are considering controversial medically assisted death legislation this year.

The laws would allow mentally fit, terminally ill patients age 18 and older whose doctors say they have six months or less to live to request lethal drugs.

Oregon was the first state to implement its Death with Dignity Act in 1997 after voters approved the law in 1994, and four other states -- Montana, New Mexico, Vermont and Washington -- now allow for medically assisted death.

Panel says assisted suicide operates with premise 'some lives are unworthy'

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Physician-assisted suicide "violates the Hippocratic oath" and operates under the premise that "some lives are unworthy," said participants in a panel discussion Monday at the Heritage Foundation in Washington.

The panel, which consisted of speakers from the areas of public policy, medicine and religion, was titled "Living Life to Its Fullest: Supporting the Sick and Elderly in Their Most Vulnerable Hours" and focused on recent public discussions of physician-assisted suicide.

California Catholic Conference: Approval of assisted suicide is 'sad and disappointing'

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A California Senate committee vote Wednesday approving physician-assisted suicide in the state received a swift and disapproving response from the executive director of the California Catholic Conference.

The vote by the Senate Health Committee is "sad and disappointing," said CCC executive director Ned Dolejsi. Senate Bill 128, endorsed by the committee in a 6-2 vote, now goes to the Senate Judiciary Committee. If approved there, it will be debated by the full Senate. The Assembly will hold its own hearings on "right to die" legislation.

English, Welsh bishops make defense of life top election priority

The Catholic bishops of England and Wales have made the defense of human life their top priority in guidance to Catholic voters ahead of the general election.

A four-page letter to voters, which will be distributed throughout churches, lists "important issues" the bishops invite Catholics to raise with candidates in the May 7 election for the House of Commons.

California bill would legalize assisted suicide for terminally ill

California legislators have introduced assisted suicide legislation modeled on Oregon's assisted suicide law, energized by the heartbreaking story of Brittany Maynard, a young woman with brain cancer, who moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Oregon to end her own life Nov. 1.

Before her suicide, Maynard, 29, created videos asking for assisted suicide legislation that drew tens of millions of views, and her mother and husband are now campaigning for legalization.

British faith leaders warn Parliament not to legalize assisted suicide

The leaders of Britain's faith communities have united to warn Parliament against the "grave error" of legalizing assisted suicide.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster and Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury joined 21 other of the most senior Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Zoroastrian and Jain faith leaders to protest the Assisted Dying Bill.

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In This Issue

August 28-September 10, 2015

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