Catholic News Agency
October 18, 2016
By Matt Hadro
. . .
Treatable depression, financial gain from a patient's death, doctors who can write a fatal prescription with little knowledge of the person it's for – all things that supporters of physician assisted suicide in the District of Columbia would perhaps prefer not to discuss.
But as the city council in the nation’s capital may soon legalize the procedure, both the Church and local citizens have taken up arms to label it as prejudiced against the “most vulnerable.”
The bill is immoral, unethical, and unjust, said Dr. Lucia Silecchia, a law professor at the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law, and a D.C. citizen.
“Thus, while the Catholic and Christian understanding of the dignity of human persons, made in the image and likeness of God undergirds the moral critique of such statutes, the medical opposition long predates Christ, and the legal objections should compel anyone who observes how easily disregard for the life of one spreads,” she stated to EWTN News.
. . .
The D.C. bill is flawed for a number of reasons, Silecchia explained to EWTN News.
For one, any two physicians could write a prescription for a fatal drug overdose request, no matter how little they know the patient. Also, if patients are refused their request by their primary care physician, they could just seek out another doctor who may not know them well, but will write them a prescription.
“This undermines the dignity of those who suffer by suggesting to them – while they are most vulnerable – that their lives no longer have value,” she said.
Witnesses of the patient’s consent could be an “interested party” – someone who could benefit financially or personally from the patient’s death – Silecchia noted, raising even more ethical challenges to the proposal.
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Click here to access the full interivew.
Professor Lucia Ann Silecchia's
Areas of Expertise
Environmental Law and Ethics
Catholic Social Thought and the Law
Elder Law and Estate Planning
For additional information about our professors' areas of speciality, see the Catholic University Experts page.