Physician Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia

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Physician Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia

“The request which arises from the human heart in the supreme confrontation with suffering and death, especially when faced with the temptation to give up in utter desperation, is above all a request for companionship, sympathy and support in the time of trial. It is a plea for help to keep on hoping when all human hope fails.”
~ John Paul II, The Gospel of Life or Evangelium vitae, March 25, 1995, no. 67.

Act Now: HB 1283 - Your Help is Needed

Committee Vote March 6, 2024

Physician-assisted suicide once again has been proposed in New Hampshire. HB 1283 would legalize assisted suicide. The House Judiciary Committee will vote on the bill on March 6, and the full House will vote as early as March 14.

In order to help defeat this bill, the Diocese is working alongside the NH Coalition for Suicide Prevention, a diverse group that includes health care providers, veterans, and people with disabilities and their advocates. The Church teaches that suicide is always a tragedy and that a caring community should respond with hospice and palliative care to better meet the needs of those facing the end of life.

Thank you to all who signed in to oppose HB 1283, or contacted a legislator, or came to the HB 1283 hearing. The final tally of the remote sign-in portal: 658 in support, 1125 opposed!

You can view the hearing here: House Judiciary (02/07/2024) - YouTube

What can you do now?

If you have not yet done so:

  1. Before March 6, please contact the members of the Judiciary Committee and respectfully ask them to pay heed to the dangers raised by people with disabilities, veterans, young people, nursing home administrators, hospitals, and others, and reject HB 1283.

    House Judiciary Committee

  2. Please contact your House members, and respectfully share your opposition to HB 1283. Ask them to stand up for people with disabilities, veterans, young people, and our seniors.

    The New Hampshire House of Representatives -  Contact Information

Stay tuned to this webpage for further information.

DOWNLOAD the flyer on how to stop state-approved assisted suicide


Physician-assisted suicide, a form of euthanasia, is a grave moral evil that is directly contrary to the infinite dignity of each human life. Proposed as a so-called “compassionate” alternative to those suffering from terminal illness or disability, physician-assisted suicide is, in reality, the very opposite of compassion and exploits the vulnerability of those suffering in these circumstances. Instead of receiving the medical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual support they deserve and need in the face of this suffering, those in these situations are abandoned to hopelessness and fear with assisted suicide appearing as the only legitimate alternative.

The fear of suffering, the fear of being a burden to family and friends, and the fear of isolation that so often come with illness must be met with genuine Christian charity and hope and not the indifference of assisted suicide. Doctors and medical professionals, moreover, have a duty to do no harm to those in their care, a duty that is directly violated in prescribing lethal drugs to those in a state of tremendous vulnerability.

The values of autonomy and usefulness are not defining of the human person, and the value of human life transcends one’s ability to be independent or “productive” in society and must be protected from any threat. Respect for human life does not mean a requirement to undergo treatment that is burdensome or unlikely to be successful, nor does it mean the rejection of palliative care to manage pain: what it does mean, however, is true, authentic compassion, a “suffering-with” and accompaniment in love with those in the face of suffering and death.

Testimony:

HB 1659 Assisted Suicide - February 3, 2020

Resources:

St. John Paul II, The Gospel of Life or Evangelium vitae (March 25, 1995), especially nos. 64-67

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration on Euthanasia, May 5, 1980

Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 2276-2279

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, To Live Each Day with Dignity: A Statement on Physician-Assisted Suicide, June 16, 2011

Find other resources from the USCCB