Cardinal Dolan, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities and Bishop Dewane, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development have expressed their strong support for H. Con. Res. 80, a resolution expressing the sense of Congress that assisted suicide is a “deadly, discriminatory and non-compassionate practice.” You can read the full text of their letter here. Please join your voice to theirs and urge your Representative to support the resolution which calls on the Federal Government to reject assisted suicide and to ensure that every person facing death has access to the best quality and comprehensive medical and palliative health care.
The resolution, introduced by Representative Brad Wenstrup, (R-OH) along with a bipartisan group of members states that “the Government has a legitimate interest in prohibiting assisted suicide” and explains how assisted suicide endangers everyone, especially those least able to defend against coercion. The Resolution warns that “assisted suicide…puts everyone, including the most vulnerable, at risk of deadly harm and undermines the integrity of the health care system.” (Click here to see the resolution and co-sponsors.)
Suggested Actions to Take Immediately:
- Send a message today to your Representative in the House urging support for H. Con Res 80. Click here to send your message by email or Twitter.
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I respectfully urge you to support H. Con. Res. 80 and put Congress on record as rejecting assisted suicide as healthcare. The Government has a legitimate interest to protect the vulnerable at the end of life. Common-sense, bi-partisan federal policy should continue to protect the vulnerable, the disabled and terminally ill from coercion, prejudice, negative and inaccurate stereotypes, and societal indifference. Moreover, Congress should make known that it wants the Federal Government to help ensure that every person facing death has access to the best quality and comprehensive medical and palliative health care.
Federal law and policy has long rejected the dangerous notion that assisted suicide is healthcare. For example, The Assisted Suicide Funding Restriction Act of 1997 was passed with nearly unanimous bi-partisan support and signed by then President Bill Clinton. It prohibits the use of federal dollars for assisted suicide. Moreover, the Supreme Court has twice ruled that there is no right to assisted suicide in the Constitution. See: Washington v. Glucksberg (521 U.S. 702 (1997)) and Vacco v. Quill (521 U.S. 793(1991)). H. Con. Res 80 would clarify that Congress finds that “the Federal Government should ensure that every person facing the end of their life has access to the best quality…medical care…and that the Federal Government should not adopt or endorse policies or practices that support, encourage or facilitate suicide or assisted suicide, whether by physicians or others.”
A “Sense of Congress” resolution is a type of bill whereby Congress can express a strong opinion or send a message regarding a timely topic of national import and interest. While it does not have the force of law, it does put Congress on record and can prepare the way for substantive legislation. You can read the full text of the resolution and learn who the co-sponsors are here.