CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES TODAY TO STOP STATE-APPROVED SUICIDE
After you read this information sheet, contact your representatives and urge them to vote AGAINST HB 1659.
You can find out more at catholicnh.org/endoflife. Find the contact information for your representatives at gencourt.state.nh.us.
The New Hampshire Legislature is considering a bill (HB 1659) to approve assisted suicide in this state. The Diocese is part of a coalition of diverse groups (including health care providers and people with disabilities and their advocates) that are opposed to HB 1659. As Catholics, we know that our priority should be to care for the patient, not to kill the patient. Among the many reasons why HB 1659 is a dangerous bill:
- There is a serious suicide crisis in New Hampshire today, especially among groups such as at-risk teens, veterans with traumatic brain injury, first responders, and people with living with disabilities. In response, the State is trying to achieve a goal of Zero Suicide. But HB 1659 would legalize physician assisted suicide, normalizing suicide as medical care and sending a message that dangerously contradicts suicide prevention efforts: the message that the state approves of suicide as an acceptable option under certain circumstances.
- The top reasons given by people who end their lives under Oregon’s assisted suicide law include “fear of being a burden to others” and “loss of independence.” As advocates for people with disabilities have pointed out, these are things that people with disabilities regularly encounter. Thus (as one prominent NH advocate has said), passage of an assisted suicidelaw is like saying to people with disabilities that “you are better off dead”.
- An assisted suicide law invites coercion. Elder abuse and exploitation are already significant problems in this state and nationwide. Assisted suicide puts a new weapon into the hands of exploiters – the opportunity to persuade someone to use the assisted suicide law.
- Experience shows that laws on state-approved suicide have a natural tendency to expand in scope. HB 1659 applies to people with a terminal illness with 6 months left to live. If HB 1659 is passed, how would the law be expanded next year and in the years after that?
Stay informed by registering for Catholic Citizenship News, the Diocese of Manchester Newsletter on public issues, at catholicnh.org/ccn