Public Health Committee to Holding Public Hearing on Physician-Assisted Suicide

CONNECTICUT- The Public Health Committee will be holding a public hearing on H.B. 5898 “An Act Concerning Aid In Dying for Terminally Ill Patients”, which supports the legalization of physician-assisted suicide in Connecticut. The hearing is scheduled for Monday. March 18th, at 10:30 a.m.. in Room 1D of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. This is the sixth year that such legislation has been proposed by the General Assembly. The Connecticut Catholic Public Affairs Conference will keep our Network membership informed as this proposal progresses through the legislature.

The Catholic Bishops of Connecticut, along with members of the health care and disability communities strongly oppose this legislation for various reasons. These groups believe that the right of individual choice is far overshadowed by the potential negative impact of this legislation upon our society. The advocates of physician-assisted suicide call it “aid-in-dying” in an effort to remove the negative connotations of the word “suicide”, but the passage of physician-assisted suicide would be bad public policy and would create a terrible precedent in Connecticut.

The Catholic Conference does not support keeping a patient alive by extraordinary means against that patient’s will. We support true aid-in-dying, which is hospice and palliative care. What we oppose is licensing doctors to prescribe lethal drugs for the purpose of taking a human life, prescribing suicide as a treatment.

Please take note that under physician-assisted suicide laws existing in several other states, the doctor prescribes the deadly medication, but is usually not present when the patient administers it to themselves. In fact, in a large number of cases, no medical professional is present. Additionally, the highest ranking reason patients have committed physician-assisted suicide is not due to pain, but to no longer be a burden to the family or a decline in their quality of life. The presentation by the proponents of this legislation that most people take advantage of this type of law to escape unbearable pain is not supported by the facts. Quality hospice and palliative care are the
keys to truly compassionate end-of-life care.

Read important questions and answers on this issue by clicking here.

We are seeking your assistance in defeating this legislation in the Public Health Committee. Listed below are several ways to have your voice heard on this issue.

1) Use our Grassroots Action Center to send an e-mail directly to your state senator and state representative by clicking on the link at the bottom of this message.  We have provided a basic statement, but please either put the message in your own words or add a brief introduction and conclusion! Personalized messages have a much greater impact. Let our legislators know that you want them to vote NO on H.B. 5898.

2) In addition to your own legislators, contact the members of the Public Health Committee now and ask them to vote NO on H.B. 5898. Their contact information can be found here.

3) Attend the public hearing on Monday, March 18th, and testify against the physician-assisted suicide bill. If you cannot attend, you may send testimony by email  Here is additional information on the hearing:

The Public Health Committee will hold a public hearing on Monday, March 18, 2019 at 10:30 A.M. in Room 1Dof the LOB. The Committee is accepting electronic testimony via email at Please submit electronic testimony in Word or PDF format no later than 12:00 P.M. on Saturday, March 16, 2019. If you are unable to submit electronic testimony, please submit one copy of written testimony no later than 8:30 A.M. on Monday, March 18, 2019 in Room 3000 of the LOB. Please submit separate testimony for each bill. All testimony submitted must be related to bills on the agenda. Testimony submitted after the deadline may not be available to Legislators until after the hearing. Sign-up for the hearing will begin at 8:00 A.M. in the First Floor Atrium of the LOB. The first hour of the hearing is reserved for Legislators, Constitutional Officers, State Agency Heads and Chief Elected Municipal Officials. Speakers will be limited to three minutes of testimony.

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