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Is Assisted Suicide Inevitable after California’s Decision?

web-man-hospital-bed-elderly-anique-ccWhen the most populous state in the nation legalized physician-assisted suicide this month, the leading proponents of the practice certainly played it up as a major win. And media reports speculated that enactment of the law will have a ripple effect on other states.

But opponents of assisted suicide are not about to roll over and play dead.

“Compassion & Choices definitely feels emboldened. They’ve added 17 campaign states to their map,” said Peter Wolfgang, head of the Family Institute of Connecticut, where a similar proposal was defeated in committee for the past three years. “But in the last 20 years there have been more than 175 attempts to legalize physician-assisted suicide in more than 35 states. California is only their fourth success, and they got that by ramming it through in a special session.”

Richard Doerflinger, associate director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, worries that passage of the bill in such a large and influential state might be seen as “some kind of major endorsement,” even though it “had to be passed by a kind of subterfuge and misuse of the legislative process.”

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