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Published On: Wed, Apr 15th, 2015

Pastor Rick Warren speaks out against California assisted suicide, ‘End of Life’ bill

Pastor Rick Warren spoke out against a new California bill that would allow terminally ill patients to end their lives through physician-assisted suicide. Warren is the latest Christian leader to voice an opinion against California Senate Bill 128.

“I oppose this law as a theologian and as the father of a son who took his life after struggling with mental illness for 27 years.”

Warren continued, “The prospect of dying can be frightening. But we belong to God, and death and life are in God’s hands… We need to make a radical commitment to be there for those who are dying in our lives.”
Warren lost a son to suicide in 2013.

Compassion and Choices bannerSenate Bill 128, also known as the End of Life legislation, has been opposed by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, as well as other faith groups who say it goes against Christian teaching.

In a document explaining its opposition, the diocese asked:

“The claim to a right to assisted suicide raises many questions, not the least of which is this: if there is a ‘right to assisted suicide,’ why would such a right be restricted only to those in the throes of terminal illness? What about the elderly person suffering a slow but non-terminal decline? What about the adolescent or young adult in the throes of depression, demoralization, or despair? What about the middle-aged man who is alone and simply tired of life?”

The diocese added: “While laws may initially erect fences around the practice of assisted suicide — having six months to live, being over the age of 18, having mental capacity, etc.— these ‘safeguards’ will eventually be unmasked as arbitrary.”

Compassion and Choices, a nonprofit group advocating for the law, said, however, that terminally ill people deserve the right to choose the time of their death.

Toni Broaddus, California campaign director, argued that every dying person “should have access to medical options consistent with their own values and beliefs.”

“We respect all points of view, and that’s why we support options at the end of life,” Broaddus added.

The debate over the proposed law has gained momentum in the wake of UC Irvine graduate Brittany Maynard deciding to move to Oregon to end her life, after she was told she only had six month to live after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. She died on Nov. 1, surrounded by family members and friends.

 

About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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