New Jersey judge temporarily blocks assisted suicide law
FREE Catholic Classes
A judge in New Jersey has temporarily halted a law allowing physician assisted suicide, which had gone into effect August 1.
Metuchen, N.J., (CNA) - The law is being challenged by a physician who says that it is a violation of religious freedom protections in the U.S. Constitution and laws against suicide.
Dr. Yosef Glassman is an Orthodox Jew who says that he is opposed to facilitating suicide both due to his religious beliefs and his profession as a doctor. He also objects to the law's stipulation that a doctor who objects to assisted suicide must refer patients to another doctor who will help them end their life.
The law's demands on doctors, Glassman said in his lawsuit, present "not only a violation of the rights to practice medicine without breaching the fiduciary duties owing to those patients ... but also violations of their First Amendment rights under the United States Constitution to freely practice their religions in which human life is sacred and must not be taken," the AP reported.
The Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act, which passed the New Jersey legislature with bipartisan support, allows those deemed by a doctor to have less than six months to live to request lethal medication to end their lives. The patient then must administer the medication themselves.
The temporary injunction, signed by Judge Paul Innes of Superior Court in Mercer County, means that the state attorney general may not enforce the law while it is being challenged in court.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, who signed the bill in April, said he will fight the lawsuit, the AP reported.
A self-described "lifelong, practicing Catholic," Murphy said when he signed the bill into law that he was aware that the Church opposed assisted suicide, but after careful consideration and prayer, he believed assisted suicide was a personal decision and legalizing it would respect residents' freedom and humanity.
Bishop James F. Checchio of Metuchen condemned assisted suicide as "a grievous affront to the dignity of human life" that "can never be morally justified" in a letter to his diocese on July 30.
"Passage of this law points to the utter failure of government, and indeed all society, to care truly, authentically and humanely for the suffering and vulnerable in our midst, especially those living with an incurable disease as well as the frail elderly, the infirm and those living with disabilities," he said.
He stressed that despite the new legality of the practice, it remains gravely immoral, and said the Church would continue advocating for the sanctity of all human life and working to educate lawmakers and the general public about the dangers of assisted suicide.
"With this law there will be a further desensitization of the value of human life," said the bishop, adding that the elderly, sick and disabled could feel pressure to choose suicide so as to avoid burdening others.
He also clarified that Saint Peter's University Hospital, sponsored by the Diocese of Metuchen, will not condone or participate in euthanasia or assisted suicide.
Instead of assisted suicide, Checchio called for a renewed commitment caring for those living in pain and suffering while dying and who might otherwise consider suicide.
"Let us strive to help the sick and incapacitated find meaning in their lives, even and especially in the midst of their suffering," he said. "Let us, as a society and as individuals choose to walk with them, in their suffering, not contribute to eliminating the gift of life."
Assisted suicide is legal in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia, as well as in Montana under a 2009 state Supreme Court ruling.
Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Baltimore, Md., (CNA) - The new vice president of the U.S. bishops' conference says that he wants to help bring a spirit of evangelism to ... continue reading
Adhering to Church teaching is a priority for Catholic Relief Services (CRS), and policies are in place to ensure it is not complicit in ... continue reading
Saugus High School students who walked out of classrooms during the March for Our Lives protest in 2018 have been victimized in today's ... continue reading
When French Catholic Jean Vanier brought two men with intellectual disabilities to live with him in his home, he did so more out of a sense ... continue reading
The U.S. Catholic bishops' conference on Tuesday passed several action items, including an update of seminary formation and an effort to ... continue reading
Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.