The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo will hold a public forum Thursday night to discuss proposed state legislation that would legalize doctor-assisted suicide.
The "Medical Aid in Dying Bill" was introduced in the New York State Assembly in May and was approved by the Assembly Health Committee later in the same month. The New York State Senate has a similar bill that remained in committee through the end of the legislative session.
The bill would allow mentally competent, terminally-ill patients to request medication that would hasten their deaths. Under the law, the patient would self-administer the medication, and the law would provide certain protections against legal repercussions for health care providers and medication-prescribing physicians.
Bishop Richard J. Malone distributed a video message to all parishes and Catholic schools saying, “I renew my call to Catholics and all people of good will to oppose this evil of assisted suicide. It’s an issue where the Church sees no grey area. 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.”
Panelists at Thursday's event include former New York State Attorney General Dennis Vacco; Kathy Gallagher, Director of Pro-Live Activities at the New York State Catholic Conference; Kevin Keenan, Chair of the Diocesan Public Policy Commission; Cheryl Calire, Diocesan Director for Pro-Life Activities; and Steve Cichon, Emcee & Public Policy Committee Member.
The forum will be held at 7 p.m. at St. Gregory the Great Ministry Center, 200 St. Gregory Court, Williamsville.
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