Cardinal hosts town hall meeting on assisted suicide
By Christine M. WilliamsPilot Correspondent
Panelists Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Janet Benestad, Dr. John Howland and M. C. Sullivan join Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley during the Virtual Town Hall Meeting on Preventing Assisted Suicide Oct. 3. Pilot photo/ George Martell, Pilot New Media
She also lambasted the law itself, saying that it is seriously flawed. It does not require that patients seek a psychiatric evaluation in order to ensure that conditions like depression can be found and treated. The bill requires that two people witness to the decision to take life-ending drugs. Only one person is required not to be an heir and neither person needs even to know the patient. It also does not have a conscience clause for pharmacists who object to dispensing lethal prescriptions.
"This bill is ripe for abuse," she said.
Sullivan stressed that opposition to the bill is not a religious issue. Already, 35 groups of healthcare professionals, including the Massachusetts Medical Society, have come together to form the Committee Against Physician Assisted Suicide.
During the town hall meeting, CatholicTV invited questions through e-mail and the social media sites Facebook and Twitter. Panelists also answered questions from the 21 audience members.
One of them, Elizabeth Lee from North Dighton, told The Pilot after the broadcast that voters need to educate themselves about the physician-assisted suicide bill. She advised concerned citizens, "Don't let emotionalism get in the way. Get the facts. Read through the bill."
Audience member Tim Van Damm, vice president of advancement and admissions at the College of St. Mary Magdalen in Warner, N.H., said that the panel discussion highlighted how important it is for everyone to discuss Question 2 with their friends and relatives.
"If every person who saw this telecast and read about this told other people, I think we could win this," he said. "It's a matter of life or death."
The CatholicTV network will rebroadcast the town hall meeting on:
Oct. 13 at 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 15 at 8 p.m.
Oct. 20 at 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 22 at 8 p.m.
Oct. 29 at 10:30 p.m.
Oct. 31 at 7:30 a.m.
Nov. 2 at 2 p.m.
Nov. 3 at 3:30 a.m.
Nov. 5 at 8 p.m.
Nov. 6 at 6 a.m.
Nov. 6 at 12 p.m.
The CatholicTV Network is available at Verizon channel 296, Comcast 268, Charter 101, RCN 85 and at CatholicTV.com.
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