The Senate Judiciary Committee herd warnings from Bishop Matano of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Vermont regarding the potential of concerns about cost over shadowing compassion if the physician assisted suicide bill is passed. Ths story was coved in this Burlington Free Press article:
The Most Rev. Bishop Salvatore Matano of the statewide Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington implored a Senate committee Wednesday not to interfere with the valuable end-of-life experience that those who are dying share with their families.
He asked the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject a bill that would allow doctors to prescribe a lethal dose of medication to terminally ill patients who request it. The full Senate is expected to vote on the bill next week, and both sides characterize the vote count as close.
Matano and several others, including the Vermont Medical Society, spoke against the bill. A lawyer who has defended Oregon’s law before the U.S. Supreme Court, told the panel that opponents’ fears have not come to fruition there.
Matano emphasized the church’s continued opposition to a practice it considers suicide.
“Far from compassionately reaching out to people at their greatest time of vulnerability,” Matano said, “is there not the strong possibility that such legislation would invite to the bedside of the sick those who are primarily concerned with cost and where compassion is overshadowed, where pressure is placed upon those making decisions, a pressure which should not be present at such an extraordinary moment in a person’s life?”
“We can never, never give up on any person in seeking to do all we can to alleviate their pain,” Matano said.