Controversy Over Virginia’s “Assisted Suicide” Law

( – Virginia is set to pass legislation that would allow “assisted suicide” to be legalized and many people, including Bishops, are coming out to speak about the negative effects of this.

A letter was put out on Monday written by Bishop Michael Burbidge, encouraging citizens of Virginia to speak out to politicians and voice their opinions on the bill. “We are alarmed and deeply saddened by this development. Human life is sacred and must never be abandoned or discarded. At this critical moment, we implore the faithful across our two dioceses: Please contact your state Senator and Delegate. Urge them to reject assisted suicide legislation, using the alert provided by the Virginia Catholic Conference,” he said.

The Senate bill is referred to as the “Death with Dignity” bill and it’s said to permit “an adult diagnosed with a terminal condition to request an attending health care provider to prescribe a self-administered controlled substance for the purpose of ending the patient’s life in a humane and dignified manner.”

There are gatekeeping measures as this bill would require the patient to verbally request the killing twice and they would have to submit a written request with their signature as well. As for now, the bill is set to move to the Virginia State Senate for a vote.

The letter continued and Burbidge expressed his concerns, saying, “Every suicide is a tragedy. Assisted suicide facilitates tragedies and makes the most vulnerable even more vulnerable. Legalizing it would place the lives of people with disabilities, people with mental illnesses, the elderly, and those unable to afford healthcare – among others – at heightened risk of deadly harm.”

Virginia is not the first state to implement this bill as it is currently legal in Maine, New Jersey, Hawaii, Colorado, New Mexico, California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Vermont.

Burbidge continued in the letter, “People facing the end of life are in great need, and must be accompanied with great care and attentiveness. To address each of their needs and alleviate their suffering, patients deserve high-quality medical, palliative, and hospice care – not suicide drugs.”

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