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.

HB 1283 Update: Assisted Suicide Legalization Defeated!

On May 16, the Senate voted down HB 1283 by a bipartisan vote of 17-7. As you know, the debate around this bill was an arduous one. The outreach to legislators that was done by many opponents of physician-assisted suicide played a critical role in achieving this outcome. Thank you!

Here is a list of the Senators who voted against HB 1283:

Daryl Abbas, R-Salem
Kevin Avard, R-Nashua
Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro
Regina Birdsell, R-Hampstead
Sharon Carson, R-Londonderry
Shannon Chandley, D-Amherst
Lou D'Allesandro, D-Manchester
Bill Gannon, R-Sandown
Carrie Gendreau, R-Littleton
James Gray, R-Rochester
Daniel Innis, R-Bradford
Timothy Lang, R-Sanbornton
Howard Pearl, R-Loudon
Denise Ricciardi, R-Bedford
Cindy Rosenwald, D-Nashua
Donna Soucy, D-Manchester
Ruth Ward, R-Stoddard

Please contact them to let them know how much you appreciate their vote on this. It is especially important to do that if you contacted them in advance of the vote.

Please stay tuned to this website for ongoing news on the work being done in the public square by the Catholic Church in New Hampshire.

In order to defeat assisted suicide legislation, 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.

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.


HB 1283 Assisted Suicide - February 7, 2024

HB 1659 Assisted Suicide - February 3, 2020


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