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/​e​n​d​o​f​l​i​f​e. Find the con­tact infor­ma­tion for your rep­re­sen­ta­tives at gen​court​.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/​c​c​n

pdficon smallHB 1659 Bulletin

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