Vermont: Death with Dignity Bill

From a priest reader:

Dear Fr. Z, Can I ask for urgent prayers from your readers? The
Vermont State legislature (one of the most secular in the country) is
trying to rush through the “Death with Dignity” Bill this week – quick
hearing on Wednesday – vote on Friday. The Governor has promised he will sign it (he has been pushing for it). As usual, this has not been
voted on by the people. The Church is having a real struggle in the
least religious State in the Union. please pray for us!

Perhaps some of you readers know more about this.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in De Novissimis: Four Last Things, Dogs and Fleas, Emanations from Penumbras, Mail from priests, Religious Liberty, The future and our choices and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Vermont: Death with Dignity Bill

  1. Liz says:

    I’m praying.

  2. ContraMundum says:

    Has any bill rushed through quietly like this been a good one?

    [T]he light is come into the world and men loved darkness rather than the light: for their works were evil.

  3. Elizabeth M says:

    Just goes to show how messed up our society is. People want the “freedom” to “die with dignity” yet there are support groups and organizations throughout this country with campaigns, walks and fundraisers to bring attention to suicide. They state how horrible it is, here are the signs, help people with depression get assistance, etc. I don’t see the difference. Choosing to end your own life, whether in a hospital or not is still suicide. Either way I think the person cannot have a balanced mindset. We will be praying for Vermont.

  4. disco says:

    At least in Massachusetts the people have a vote on this issue. I’ll never understand how there can be any dignity in being poisoned to death.

  5. Legisperitus says:

    If you want to see death with dignity, look at the Crucifix. Our true dignity, consisting in our imitation of Christ, comes from our acceptance of the death God has destined for us, with whatever sufferings may accompany it.

  6. Clinton says:

    What’s to say that what is made legal and optional one day won’t be made mandatory later?

    I’d like to know just which groups have been lobbying for this law. I have a hard time believing
    it’s hospice personnel and others who actually work with the dying. Years ago I worked with
    the hospice in my home city as a social worker. In that time, I had only one client express any
    suicidal ideation– she had an aggressive brain tumor and a history of suicides in her family.
    Neither my other clients nor their families ever expressed interest in suicide, and the hospice
    staff certainly never considered it a worthwhile ‘option’. If my experience is any indication, the
    dying, their families, and caregivers working with them are not the ones pushing this legislation.

    I’ve never heard proponents of the normalization of suicide address the fact that the
    suicide of a family member exponentially increases the likelihood that another family member
    will attempt or commit suicide. It is as if it opens a door previously shut, and gives permission
    for other family members to use that ‘option’. How have the Vermont legislature and the
    advocates for this law addressed the fact that for every person using the newly legalized ‘right’
    to suicide there will probably be another family member following his footsteps?

    Just who are these people lobbying for legalized, government-sanctioned suicide and what’s
    their angle? If so-called ‘death with dignity” is normalized, can we expect it to become a “right”,
    like contraception/sterilization/abortion, that our betters in Washington shall declare must be
    subsidized by taxpayers and insurance providers? Could it ever become not just a “right”, but
    a “duty”?

  7. Sooner or later, the “right” to die will indeed become a duty to die.

    And while we are busy chasing after imaginary “rights” that are really nothing else than abrogations of our duties, our authentic rights recede into the darkness.

  8. APX says:

    I fail to see how euthanasia is “dying with dignity”. All it means is you’re taking the sissy way out of life, which isn’t very dignifying. My aunt, who died from a long a painful battle with cancer, may have been eaten away by cancer and not look as physically beautiful as she did when she was healthy, but she died with more dignity than anyone who would rather forego the suffering and kill themselves (or let a doctor do it for them).

  9. The Cobbler says:

    What “death with dignity” means is that the poor heathens wish to be gentlemanly toward Death and help him do his work. They think it foolish not to be in control, but they also think it foolish to endure pain, as if that were kicking and screaming in the face of one’s adversary.

    The Christian (or even anyone who thinks much of the Book of Job), on the other hand, knows you needn’t worry about such gentlemanly dignity any more than you need kick and scream in the face of an enemy who can be beaten merely by not giving up one’s hope to him. Even without Christ we would prefer death outside our control to the dishonor of rejecting life willingly, but with Christ we have promise that even death shall pass. It’s not our control or composure that matters, for in the realm of mortality — we aim to misbehave.

  10. The Cobbler says:

    What “death with dignity” means is that the poor heathens wish to be gentlemanly toward Death and help him do his work. They think it foolish not to be in control, but they also think it foolish to endure pain, as if that were kicking and screaming in the face of one’s adversary.

    The Christian (or even anyone who thinks much of the Book of Job), on the other hand, knows you needn’t worry about such gentlemanly dignity any more than you need kick and scream in the face of an enemy who can be beaten merely by not giving up one’s hope to him. Even without Christ we would prefer death outside our control to the dishonor of rejecting life willingly (an interesting switch with the classic pagan mantra, “death before dishonor”), but with Christ we have promise that even death shall pass. It’s not our control or composure that matters, for in the realm of mortality — we aim to misbehave.

    Off-topic: does anyone else see a third, empty button next to “Preview” and “Post”?

  11. Uncledan says:

    Prayers offered.

  12. ContraMundum says:

    @Legisperitus, APX

    Well said.

  13. Joanne says:

    http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/medical-ethics/code-medical-ethics/opinion2211.page

    Sorry to hear this is happening in VT. A question will probably appear on the ballot in November in Massachusetts regarding this issue.

    Some things we can do: Pray, of course. Don’t use the phrase, “Death with Dignity;” call this what it is: physician (or doctor) assisted suicide. Cite the fact that professional organizations like the AMA, the American Nurses Society, and the Mass Medical Society oppose physician assisted suicide. Remind people that doctors shouldn’t be complicit in patient death, even if everyone is a willing participant. Focus on the fact that palliative care can minimize a patient’s suffering and that committing suicide is not regaining control over one’s life. I think with the legislation that’s being proposed in MA, no witnesses need to be present when the patient takes the medication – so we can’t know that it really was the patient’s own decision to take the medication. And pain, anxiety, depression, financial worries, etc are coercive and no one should be making major decisions when these things are in play. etc etc. There’s alot we can and should do to stop the spread of this horrible idea.

  14. Joanne says:

    “American Nurses Society”

    Sorry, “American Nurses Association.”

  15. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    like Obamacare, don’t think, don’t seriously deliberate, don’t let the people voice their opinions…just rush it through. Just sign the paperwork and go home. Just go about your business. Move along, move along.

  16. NoraLee9 says:

    Why would hospice workers support a bill which would put them out of work.