Massachusetts Death with Dignity

For several years different groups in Massachusetts have attempted to pass a law that would make Physician Assisted Suicide legal in the Commonwealth. One such bill is making its way through the Massachusetts State Legislature at the present time. The aim is to place this on the ballot for the General Election in November.
H 2233 An Act relative to death with dignity was filed By Stoughton Democrat Louis Kafka on January 24, 2011 with the support of six Representatives and referred to the Joint Committee on the Judiciary. At the time of this writing the bill is sitting the Join Committees hands and no public hearing has been scheduled. The State Legislature has to act by the end of May of the question is to appear on the ballot in November.
In September of 2011 Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley certified the measure and the backers had to collect 68,911 signatures state wide. That is what led to the filing of the legislation. Legislatures can pass the legislation which would then become law send it to the ballot for the voters to decide, or do nothing. If the latter route is chosen the organizers would then have to collect an additional 11,485 signatures to place the question on the ballot.
In essence the bill would allow, “for legislation to allow for physician assisted suicide for qualified patients to end their lives” and this is unacceptable for an Orthodox Christian. In his book, Contemporary Moral Issues Facing Orthodox Christians, Orthodox Moral Ethicist Fr. Stanley Harakas states; “The Orthodox Church has always taught that euthanasia constitutes the deliberate taking of human life, and as such is to be condemned as murder.”
At the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Medical Society in December of 2011, the President of the Society, Dr. Lynda Young had this to say about the pending legislation; “Physicians of our Society have clearly declared that physician-assisted suicide is inconsistent with the physician’s role as healer and health care provider. At the same time we recognize the importance of patient dignity and the critical role that physicians have in end-of-life care,” (emphasis added)
In this writers opinion this Legislation needs to be defeated. The Legislature is the first place to make our voice heard. Let your Representatives know how you feel on this issue. Contact them by phone, letter, or email it only takes a few moments. If you are unsure of who your Representatives are you can look them up here. A text of the bill can be found here, and the members of the Joint Committee on Judiciary can be found here.
Let your voice be heard, the time to act is now.


  1. a person can die with dignity by just allowing death to follow its process and make the peerson has comfortable as possible..
    thats why we have hospice…

  2. The last survey I saw showed that 98% of American Catholics don't accept or follow the Church's teaching on birth control. A majority of your flock don't support you on this issue either. Spend your energy on persuading them, not on trying to legislate your values on the rest of us. There is no Catholic United States or America or Catholic State of Massachusetts.

  3. Bill,

    Thanks for your comments. Just a few things to correct. I am not a priest in the catholic church I am an Orthodox priest so your survey does not really apply to us. We do not base or moral theology on public opinions polls we leave that to the variety of protestant churches that wish to be lukewarm on their teachings so that their flocks are confused about what Jesus taught. As an American citizen I have just as much right as you do to try and legislate values as you do. I could say the same to you and ask you not to try and legislate your values on me.

  4. the church,catholic or otherwise,has a moral duty to teach to their parishioners what they hold as truth..if the people sitting in the pews choose to take birth control or have an abortion then they are at least made clear on where their church stands.
    the church has been the moral compass for 2 thousand years and has just as much right to voice its opinion and dogma,even when people are made to feel uncomfortable.
    there are many things i read and see in the secular world that make me uncomfortable,but i allow everyones opinions,even when i don't agree with them.

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