In both 2017 and 2018, I publicly testified before the legislature regarding the dangers of the assisted suicide bill. In particular, I alone focused on the attack on religious freedom not part of any other PAS legislation. Those of you hearing me speak at the Fatal Flaws showing talk about this point.
In both bills, the problem comes in Section 15. The problematic wording is as follows:
15(4)(a) Health care providers shall maintain and disclose to consumers upon request their written policies outlining the extent to which they refuse to participate in providing to a qualified patient any medication pursuant to this act.
(b) The required consumer disclosure shall at minimum:
(vi) inform consumers that the cost of such transfer will be borne by the transferring provider; [emphasis added]
In my 2017 testimony, I wrote:
The Act states that a health care provider like myself, “is not under duty…to participate in providing a qualified patient with the medication.” But then it goes on to mandates that I provide patients with a referral specifically to someone who is willing to participate, and even to pay for the transfer. So, if I am not willing to kill my patients then I must pay to send them to someone who will? I will not do this, nor will any Catholic hospital. Again, I ask you, is it your intention to shut down all the Catholic hospitals, and to drive out all the Catholic health care providers, putting thousands of vulnerable patients at risk, for a handful of people who demand that doctors must help them kill themselves?
From 2017 to 2018, the bill changed by adding in a 15 day waiting period, but the language restricting religious freedom remained. In my 2018 testimony, besides discussing other problems with the bill, I reiterated:
H 1991 forces us to act directly against our consciences by mandating that we refer patients to those who will assist in their suicides. It makes us pay even more by forcing us to incur the cost to transfer patients to another provider.
Now, this year’s bill eliminates the mandate to cooperate with evil. It now reads:
(vi) inform consumers that the cost of transferring records will be borne by the transferring provider [emphasis added]
Prescribed suicide is wrong for many reason even without the restrictions on religious freedom. We are not free to do whatever we want with our bodies as if we created them ourselves. With every body there is a soul together made by God for God whether we believe it or not. We have a duty to one another to regard the inherent dignity of every human life, and that includes prohibiting the intentional hastening of anyone’s death.