Cardinal Dolan: 'Physician Assisted Suicide Is Not a Good Answer'

| 04/9/2024

By: The Good Newsroom

“People dying almost always want to have their lives valued and to die with the explicit support of a loving community around them,” Cardinal Dolan wrote in a Daily News opinion piece

A person is pictured in a file photo holding a sign against physician-assisted suicide.
A person is pictured in a file photo holding a sign against physician-assisted suicide. (OSV News photo/Kevin J. Parks, Catholic Review)

Legislation legalizing physician-assisted suicide (PAS) should be opposed and defeated, Cardinal Timothy Dolan wrote in an opinion piece (subscription required) published on April 7 in the Daily News. 

“Any priest worth his salt has accompanied a good number of people during their final days on this Earth. And over these decades of ministry we learn a few things about the end of life. Here’s one of those: people dying almost always want to have their lives valued and to die with the explicit support of a loving community around them,” Cardinal Dolan wrote.

Two bills, A995A and S2445A, being considered by the New York Assembly and New York Senate, respectively, could legalize PAS if passed. 

Cardinal Dolan noted that the reasons why patients choose PAS are not necessarily related to their medical status.

“Experts tell us that physical pain is not the primary reason why people request PAS. The main reasons are fear of being a burden on others, anxiety over loss of autonomy, and worry about the disappearance of enjoyable activities. What a terrible thing to legalize and recommend suicide in these situations!”

By valuing life, and through institutions such as Calvary Hospital and Hospice Center, a better choice for loving and dignified palliative care can be made, he wrote.

“When we do say no, know that the Catholic Church in our great state stands ready to value the lives of the dying and surround them with the loving care of a community that embraces them as equal in value to every other human being made in the image and likeness of our Creator,” Cardinal Dolan wrote.

The full article is available here (subscription required).

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