Skip to main content

Learn More About Reverence for Life

End of Life

Letters & Statements

Vatican Documents

Stem Cell Research

Death Penalty

Life Issues Forum

For on-going information on Respect Life issues, read the Life Issues Forum bi-weekly columns from the USCCB.  (Click here.)

End of Life: Legal and Policy Issues

If those who are dying are embraced by their family and their community, they will not seek death, but will live their last days well, and then accept death when it comes.

This page contains information on legal and policy matters.
For Catholic teaching on end-fo-life jump to 

Embracing Our Dying

July 7, 2015 End of Life: Legal and Policy Issues, Reverence for Life

Statement from the Executive Director of the California Catholic Conference, Ned Dolejsi regarding SB 128 (Physician-Assisted Suicide)

"This morning we received the news that SB128 has been pulled from the agenda at the Assembly Health Committee and that the bill will not be considered again this year.

June 18, 2015 End of Life: Legal and Policy Issues, Reverence for Life

Tell your legislator to vote “No” on Assisted Suicide.

Two recent court decisions have eroded limits of the Netherlands 2002 euthanasia law, appearing to open assisted suicide doors even wider in a country which now euthanizes nearly 5,000 people a year.

In Oregon, legislators are making similar attempts to expand when people can ask a physician to help them kill themselves.

April 30, 2015 End of Life: Legal and Policy Issues, Reverence for Life

Oregon's first-in-the-nation law empowers doctors to give life-ending drugs to people if they are judged to be within six months of death.  Oregon's law is widely used as the standard for similar measures proposed this year in at least 20 states.

Barely noticed, however, is the desire of a key Oregon physician-assisted suicide legislator to double the "likely-to-die" window for death medicine to a full year.

April 21, 2015 End of Life: Legal and Policy Issues, Reverence for Life

College freshman Lauren Hill, 19, died of inoperable brain cancer on April 10, surrounded by family and mourned by thousands.

Hill was a typical teen. She was a good student and good high school basketball player; colleges wanted her.

But three years ago she was diagnosed with a cancer that mostly strikes children. It is almost never survived.

April 1, 2015 End of Life: Legal and Policy Issues, Reverence for Life
The following testimony was delivered before the California Senate Health Comittee by Aaron Kheriaty, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Director, Program in Medical Ethics, UC Irvine School of Medicine:
March 26, 2015 End of Life: Legal and Policy Issues, Reverence for Life

On March 25, in a packed hearing room at the state Capitol, the Senate Health Committee voted 6 to 2 in favor of SB 128, California’s doctor-prescribed suicide bill. Democrats voted in favor, with the two Republicans opposed. Senator Richard Pan, a Democrat from Sacramento and a physician, abstained. 

"Today's action by the Senate Health Committee to advance SB 128 is sad and disappointing,” said Edward “Ned” Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference.

March 25, 2015 End of Life: Legal and Policy Issues, Reverence for Life

Ned Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference, released the following statement today following a state Senate committee vote approving SB 128 (Wolk) a proposed law legalizing physician assisted suicide.  The bill must still be considered by the Senate Judiciary and Appropriations Committees before it reaches the full Senate.

"Today's action by the Senate Health Committee to advance SB 128 is sad and disappointing.

March 10, 2015 End of Life: Legal and Policy Issues, Reverence for Life

Paralyzed from the neck down, confined to a wheelchair, Ed Roberts could move only two fingers. A breathing tube draped from his mouth, Roberts slept in an iron lung.

For many who advocate assisted suicide, the challenges of Roberts’ life made him eligible for ending that life early.  Instead, Roberts lived a life devoted to promoting the rights and abilities of himself and others.

Robert fought to attend the University of California after it said he couldn’t because of his disability, earning his bachelor’s degree, then his masters.

March 4, 2015 End of Life: Legal and Policy Issues, Reverence for Life

February 12, 2015 End of Life: Legal and Policy Issues, Reverence for Life

Dying is just that, an art! According to leading experts in the newly formed medical specialty of palliative care, there is definitely an art to dying, a way to die well. This art, when practiced while alive and well, enables a patient to seamlessly, effortlessly, and spiritually make the transition to the next part of his or her journey.

Pages