Like most of you, I have received yesterday a booklet with the issues before us on the November ballot. One of them is the complicated and convoluted one of legalizing physician assisted suicide in our state.
The supporters claim that it is a question of "dignity" and mercy to allow people to choose when to end their suffering, and point our to the case of Oregon and Washington state where no abuse has been reported so far. The opponents claim that it is not about pain relief or a question of choice, but legalizing it would fundamentally alter the relationship between the doctor and a patient. They point to the fact that in Oregon and Washington state, pain has been cited only in less than 2% of cases as reasons for the physician assisted suicide.
And then there is the religious argument. Christianity has taught for centuries that while it is permissible to stop treatment that prolongs suffering and pain, it is not acceptable to kill yourself or have others help you commit suicide.
So what are we to do and think about all this?
I will be posting my opinion about the subject as a UCC minister in the next few weeks. It will be my opinion, and my opinion only.
First Church in Marlborough Congregational UCC is dedicated to having an open forum on the subject, where people from Marlborough and other towns can come and be informed. The Open Forum on Physician Assisted Suicide will take place on October 21st, from 2 PM to 4 PM. Here is the link to the even on the Patch. We will have opponents, proponents, professionals from the medical and hospice and palliative care field, as well as ethicist and lawyer. Please mark it down in your calendar and come. More details will follow in the next week or so.