The Maryland Catholic Conference opposes physician-assisted suicide because it seeks to legalize the intentional taking of human life.
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Deadly, Not Dignified: Fighting Assisted Suicide in Maryland
or Mortífero, no digno: lucha contra el suicidio asistido por médicos en Maryland
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Dr. Callister's Story
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Sign up here to get action alerts and news about fighting out-of-state efforts to bring physician-assisted suicide to Maryland.
The Maryland Catholic Conference is a member of Maryland Against Physician Assisted Suicide (MAPAS). Physicians, mental health professionals, lawyers, elder care organizations, disability rights advocates and hospice providers are invited to join the MAPAS Coalition today.
Powerful out-of-state activists are trying to bring physician-assisted suicide to Maryland. Learn why it matters for you and your family. Sign up for “Deadly, not Dignified: Fighting Physician-Assisted Suicide in Maryland” a free webinar from the Maryland Catholic Conference on Oct. 5, 7-8 p.m. or, in Spanish, Oct. 14, 7-9 p.m. Register at www.mdcatholic.org/pas
What actually happens in a physician-assisted suicide?
A doctor prescribes a lethal drug cocktail – up to 100 pills – that a person picks up at the local pharmacy, grinds up into half a cup of water, and drinks in less than two minutes. Sometimes, the person can take hours or days to die. Plus, there are no requirements for a witness or notification of family. Assisted suicide isn’t dignified, it’s deadly. Tell your Maryland legislators: NO assisted suicide. Visit www.mdcatholic.org/pas
Physician-assisted suicide incentivizes denying cancer treatment
In states where assisted suicide is legal, insurance companies have turned down coverage for cancer treatment but offered to pay for suicide drugs instead. Stop this from happening in Maryland. Tell your state legislators: NO assisted suicide. Visit www.mdcatholic.org/pas
Physician-assisted suicide urges suicide for elderly
Elderly in Maryland have a higher rate of suicide than any other age group - double the teen suicide rate. Yet a proposed physician-assisted suicide bill would not require any mental health evaluation to screen for depression. Assisted suicide isn’t dignified, it’s deadly. Tell your state legislators: NO assisted suicide. Visit www.mdcatholic.org/pas
Physician-assisted suicide tells people they’re burdensome
In Oregon, data shows people request suicide drugs not for pain, but because they can’t do the same activities that they could before, can’t control bodily functions, feel they’ve lost dignity or feel they are a burden. Suicide drugs aren’t the answer. Everyone deserves loving, supportive care, affirmation of their dignity, and to know that they are never a burden. Tell your state legislators: NO assisted suicide. Visit www.mdcatholic.org/pas
Physician-assisted suicide is dangerous for Maryland
If assisted suicide became legal, up to 100 pills would be prescribed to a person. These lethal drugs would then be dispensed at your neighborhood pharmacy. Data shows that where assisted suicide is legal, up to 40% of the drugs are never used – and there are no requirements for their disposal. They could end up in the hands of kids, in the trash or in a local creek or pond. We don’t need that in Maryland. Assisted suicide isn’t dignified, it’s deadly. Tell your legislators: NO assisted suicide. Visit www.mdcatholic.org/pas
Disability rights activists oppose physician-assisted suicide
Major disability rights groups including The Arc of Maryland and National Council on Disability oppose physician-assisted suicide. Disabled people already face prejudice from doctors and people who assume they’re “better dead than disabled.” Assisted suicide encourages this kind of prejudice. People with disabilities deserve care, not suicide. Tell your state legislators: NO assisted suicide. Visit www.mdcatholic.org/pas
Doctors oppose physician-assisted suicide
The American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, and dozens of other medical groups oppose physician-assisted suicide. The AMA says, “Physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer.” Physicians are entrusted with saving lives, not ending them. Tell your legislators: NO assisted suicide. Visit www.mdcatholic.org/pas
Marylanders deserve excellent pain management, not physician-assisted suicide
Maryland has excellent, modern palliative care programs to alleviate suffering – no one’s pain should be unmanageable in our state. Hospice care is paid for by Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance. Marylanders deserve the best in pain management and quality care, not suicide drugs. Tell your legislators: NO assisted suicide. Visit www.mdcatholic.org/pas
Join the Maryland Catholic Advocacy Network
Our state’s General Assembly creates laws that affect us, our church, families, and vulnerable neighbors. The Maryland Catholic Advocacy Network keeps you informed and gives you a voice. You will receive occasional email updates from the Maryland Catholic Conference, plus action alerts on topics you choose: www.mdcatholic.org/joincan or text CATHOLIC to 443-764-8765.
For all who are about to die: that through our love, care, and devotion, they might know the beauty of life, as they prepare for death; We pray to the Lord:
For all people in nursing homes: that we would be inspired to visit them, and remind them of their great worth; We pray to the Lord:
For those denied adequate care: that we might stand up for their God-given dignity and assist them in their needs; We pray to the Lord:
For all who are forgotten or thrown away, and especially for the poor, the sick and the aged: that God might change our hearts and move us to love them as the image of Christ; We pray to the Lord:
For those who have grown tired of life, and especially for those tempted to suicide: that God might grant them patient endurance and the support of loved ones; We pray to the Lord:
For those tempted to despair because of constant pain: that they might join their suffering to the Cross of Christ; We pray to the Lord:
For nurses and all professionals who care for the sick and dying: that they will be given the grace to love each patient with the love of Christ, and to never see those they care for as a burden; We pray to the Lord:
For those who have grown weak or infirm: that we might see God’s power in their fragility and experience a new revelation of God’s love for them; We pray to the Lord:
For elderly parents and godparents: that the love and respect of their children might sustain them and bring them joy; We pray to the Lord:
That the sick may find strength and courage in the cross of Christ and discover the redemptive value of their suffering; We pray to the Lord:
Gráficos en español
February 8 is St. Josephine Bakhita’s feast day and the International Day of Prayer & Awareness Against Trafficking
Post the National Human Trafficking Hotline poster with contact information (English and Spanish) in parish bathrooms. Police have reported that trafficking victims often are permitted to go to church so that may be the opportunity to help.
Know the Signs of Human Trafficking
40 million people are victims of human trafficking today. A trafficking victim is someone forced, tricked or coerced to work without pay or perform commercial sex acts and unable to walk away. Victims are of any age, race, gender, nationality, and socioeconomic group. Some warning signs include excessive fear, signs of abuse, isolation, lacking ID, always with an older friend, restricted or scripted communication, working excessive hours, or being threatened. If you suspect human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline 1-888-373-7888. www.mdcatholic.org/trafficking
Know the Signs of Human Trafficking
Human traffickers prey on the most vulnerable – the homeless, runaways, foster youth, immigrants, survivors of sexual abuse and family violence, those in the justice system or with substance addictions. Many individuals are trafficked from their own home, school or neighborhood. Human trafficking is based on exploitation. It does not have to involve movement or border crossing. Frequent locations for sex trafficking are illicit massage parlors, pornography, hotels, truck stops and similar locations. Labor trafficking often takes place in domestic work, agriculture, restaurants, manufacturing and with sales crews. If you suspect human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline 1-888-373-7888. www.mdcatholic.org/trafficking
Prayers of the Faithful
- For an end to human trafficking, that the dignity of all of God’s children will be protected, we pray to the Lord.
- For survivors of human trafficking, that they might find the support they need to start a new life, we pray to the Lord,
- We pray for our government, that they may make and implement laws that will protect the sanctity of all human life, from beginning to end.
- For survivors of slavery, that God guide them to a path down which they might find wholeness and peace. Through the intercession of Saint Josephine Bakhita, patron saint of human trafficking survivors, we pray to the Lord.
- For all of those children, women and men currently trapped in situations of slavery that God will help to liberate them from their chains. Through the intercession of Saint Peter Claver, patron saint of slaves, we pray to the Lord.
- For all those vulnerable to being trafficked, especially immigrants and refugees, orphans and runaways that God give them safe passage and safe homes. Through the intercession of Saints Frances Xavier Cabrini and Jerome Emiliani, we pray to the Lord.
The Vatican and United States Conference of Catholic Bishops offers a number of resources to address human trafficking more in-depth. These include:
- Prayer card: Prayer to Saint Josephine Bakhita (English and Spanish)
- SHEPHERD program for lay and religious leaders (good for parishes)
- Vatican 40-page resource guide against human trafficking