How exactly does Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS) work? A physician provides a patient with the means – a lethal dose of drugs and/or information needed to commit suicide. The last act is done by the patient, typically in their own home without the presence of a physician or impartial witnesses. PAS is legal in a small number of U.S. states and Washington, D.C., as well as throughout Canada and some other countries.

As I began to write this article, I asked myself, “How it is possible that Physician-Assisted Suicide has been accepted by so many, permeating our society’s values to the extent that it has? While pondering this question, I came across an article entitled “A Virus that Kills People and Souls” (https://www.all.org/a-virus-that-kills-people-and-souls/). This powerful article was written by Judie Brown, President of American Life League and member of HALO’s Advisory Board. Judie begins by reflecting that, while everyone’s focus is currently on the coronavirus, there is a much deadlier virus pursuing us. The victims of this deadlier virus include those who take their own lives and those who impose death – all in the name of compassion. Judie also states that our culture has convinced people that those who are ill and suffering are a burden to others and “this is how ordinary people become killers.”

Judie’s compelling closing statement is: “In a world overcome by viral pressure to kill rather than embrace the preborn, the sick, and the dying, we need God. We need to be, as Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen remarked, ‘divinely wise souls’ who ‘often infuriate the worldly-wise because they always see things from the Divine point of view.’ Let us continue to infuriate as we persevere in our work to eradicate godlessness—the deadly virus that kills people and souls.”

So, again, how has Physician-Assisted Suicide been able to permeate our American values to the extent that it has? As Judie alludes to in her article, I believe the core drivers are so-called “compassion” and godlessness. With that said, I pray that each one of us has the courage to accept the crosses and sufferings that come our way for the goodness of our souls and to evangelize others in our fight against PAS. After all, dying with dignity is not about meeting death on our own terms; rather, it is about meeting death on God’s terms, and it is about caring for our loved ones and our neighbors who are suffering, unwanted, or unloved.
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