Regardless of your denomination or faith tradition, anyone engaged in the battle to protect life will greatly appreciate the most recent statement from the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops on Physician Assisted Suicide, titled "To Live Each Day With Dignity". I highly recommend reading the short (5 1/2 pages) document.

Here are some excerpts:

"When people are tempted to see their own lives as diminished in value or meaning, they most need the love and assistance of others to assure them of their inherent worth."

"With expanded funding from wealthy donors, assisted suicide proponents have renewed their aggressive nationwide campaign through legislation, litigation, and public advertising, targeting states they see as most susceptible to their message. If they succeed, society will undergo a radical change. Jewish and Christian moral traditions have long rejected the idea of assisting in anothers suicide."

"Most people, regardless of religious affiliation, know that suicide is a terrible tragedy, one that a compassionate society should work to prevent. They realize that allowing doctors to prescribe the means for their patients to kill

themselves is a corruption of the healing art. It even violates the Hippocratic Oath that has guided physicians for millennia: I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan. Proponents know these facts, so they avoid terms such as assisting suicide and instead use euphemisms such as aid in dying. The organization leading this campaign has even concealed its agenda by changing its name. The Hemlock Society, whose very name reminded people of the harsh reality of death by poison, has become Compassion and Choices. Plain speaking is needed to strip away this veneer and uncover what is at stake, for this agenda promotes neither free choice nor compassion."

"[T]he line between assisted suicide and homicide becomes blurred. People who request death are vulnerable. They need care and protection. To offer them lethal drugs is a victory not for freedom but for the worst form of neglect."

"By rescinding legal protection for the lives of one group of people, the government implicitly communicates the messagebefore anyone signs a form to accept this alleged benefitthat they may be better off dead. Thus the bias of too many able-bodied people against the value of life for someone with an illness or disability is embodied in official policy."

"In short, the assisted suicide agenda promotes a narrow and distorted notion of freedom, by creating an expectation that certain people, unlike others, will be served by being helped to choose death. Many people with illnesses and disabilities who struggle against great odds for their genuine rightsthe right to adequate health care and housing, opportunities for work and mobility, and so onare deservedly suspicious when the freedom society most eagerly offers them is the freedom to take their lives."

"True compassion alleviates suffering while maintaining solidarity with those who suffer. It does not put lethal drugs in their hands and abandon them to their suicidal impulses, or to the self-serving motives of others who may want them dead. It helps vulnerable people with their problems instead of treating them as the problem."