And the news passed with seemingly little notice outside Vermont. I didn’t even know three other states had already passed the law.
I find it quite interesting that one issue is dominating public discourse virtually around the world, while the other isn’t generating any headlines.
Maybe we care a heck of a lot more about living than we do dying? It’s possible.
It’s certainly not because assisted suicide isn’t contested by Americans. According to a HuffPost/YouGov poll last week, 50 percent of Americans say they think it should be legal for a doctor to assist a terminally ill patient in committing suicide if the patient requests it, while 29 percent said it should be illegal.
Cardinal Sean O’Malley was not pleased with Vermont’s decision. Chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, O’Malley warned of an “alarming trend nationwide” after Vermont legalized physician-assisted suicide May 20. He called for “all people of good will to fight the future passage of such laws.”
“I echo Bishop Matano of Burlington in calling this a tragic moment for Vermont. It is also a sign of an alarming trend nationwide. In the three states where physician-assisted suicide is now legal, doctors are called upon to destroy life, rather than to save life and provide much-needed comfort in times of pain and distress,” O’Malley said.
As someone who watched my father suffer through some indignities before passing earlier this year, I am torn on this issue. Most people place dying with dignity high on their list of wishes. But legalizing the right to end life just doesn’t feel right. O’Malley claimed it’s a “slippery slope” and I don’t think that point of view can be ignored.
What are your thoughts on assisted suicide? Why don’t more people care about this issue?