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MCC testifies against assisted suicide at statehouse


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BOSTON -- The Massachusetts Catholic Conference opposed physician-assisted suicide at a packed Committee on the Judiciary hearing at the statehouse March 6 on "An Act Relative to Death With Dignity."

The MCC, the public policy arm of the Catholic Church in Massachusetts, submitted written and oral testimony that day, outlining the Church's continued opposition to the bill and the ballot initiative.

"The Church teaches us that life itself is a gift from God. Life is to be cherished, nurtured, protected, and finally, cared for with the help of others until the time of natural death -- not self-administered death, not assisted death," MCC executive director James Driscoll testified at the hearing.

He went on to advocate for hospice and palliative care as a valid alternative to extended suffering or immediate death as proposed in the bill and the ballot initiative.

"Hospice and Palliative care professionals offer a proven and effective pain management program to patients -- no matter the level of pain. Through this care, patients are comforted in the last months, weeks, and days of their lives," Driscoll said.

According to Statehouse News Service, Rep. Louis Kafka (D-Stoughton), sponsor of the legislation, also spoke at the hearing.

"Everyone must be allowed to make their own choice with their own beliefs," he said.

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