Right to Life - Environment
Washington: Vote NO on Initiative 1000
that Legalizes Assisted Suicide
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Initiative 1000, also known as I-1000, is a State statute to legalize Assisted Suicide that will appear on the November 4, 2008 ballot in the State of Washington.
The official ballot summary for the measure reads as follow:
"This measure would permit terminally ill, competent, adult Washington residents medically predicted to die within six months to request and self-administer lethal medication prescribed by a physician.
“The measure requires two oral and one written request, two physicians to diagnose the patient and determine the patient is competent, a waiting period, and physician verification of an informed patient decision. Physicians, patients and others acting in good faith compliance would have criminal and civil immunity."
Catholic teaching from Spirago-Clarke’s The Cathechism Explained: An Exhaustive Expalanation of the Catholic Religion and Dictionnaire de Theologie Catholique
- Suicide is murder
The man who takes his own life, or helps another to do so, violates the Fifth Commandment, Thou shall not kill, and commits a crime before God - a mortal sin.
- Suicide is an act of despair
The Catholic may not despair but relies on God’s mercy and help, which is often nearest when the need is greatest. Despair that ends in suicide is a sin against the providence of God (St. Thomas, Summa Theologica II,II, q. 64, a. 5).
- Suicide is a revolt against the will of God
God is the author of life and only He can determine when a man should die (Deut 32:39). Self-destruction is a presumptuous encroachment upon the divine rights and shows contempt for God, by flinging back at Him His greatest gift to man, which is life (St. Augustine, City of God, 1, I, chap 20, P.L. vol. 41, col. 35).
- Suicide entails Hell
According to Catholic Morals, one who commits suicide goes to Hell. That is why the Church for many centuries denied Catholic burial, Masses and religious rites to those who committed suicide (Code of Canon Law, 1917, cans. 1240, 1241, 2339).
- Suicide is an act of cowardice
Instead of facing the sufferings God gives and gaining the merits from them, the one who commits suicide fearfully deserts the battlefield. St Paul tells us to live and die for the Lord, and never for ourselves (Rom 14:7-8).
- Suicide defrauds society, of which man is a member
The person who commits suicide brings sorrow and shame to his family. Many times a suicide can also cause an unjust moral blame to be placed on another member of the family. The person who commits suicide harms those members of society to which he owes a debt, and also gives scandal to all of society. It is worse to take one’s own life than that of another, because the man who commits suicide cowardly escapes the consequences of his act for society.
- Whoever assists a suicide is an accomplice of this crime
The person who helps another commit suicide also commits a mortal sin. St. Augustine writes that "it is never licit to kill another: even if he should wish it, indeed even if he request it or, hanging between life and death, he begs for help in freeing the soul struggling against the bonds of the body and longing to be released; nor is it licit even when a sick person is no longer able to live" (Ep. 204, 5: CSEL 57, 320).
Posted October 20, 2008
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