(LifeSiteNews) — California has backed down on enforcing a law requiring medical practitioners to participate in physician-assisted suicides against their will and has agreed to pay $300,000 to the Christian medical professionals who took the state to court.
California legalized assisted suicide in 2015 with the End of Life Option Act, under which physicians were able to opt out of participation in, and could not be punished for, “refusing to inform” a patient about his “right” to assisted suicide or for refusing make a referral to a more willing physician.
However, in October 2021, Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law SB 380, which states that “participating” in assisted suicide remains “voluntary” but requires refusing physicians to refer patients to someone else and defines “participation” so narrowly as to effectively compel participation in the practice, according to Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which filed a lawsuit against the law on behalf of the 16,000-member Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA) and Dr. Leslee Cochrane.
Last September, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California granted a preliminary injunction against enforcing the law, and on Wednesday, ADF announced that it has reached a settlement in which the state agrees to not enforce “any criminal or civil punishment, including professional discipline or licensing sanction for a California-licensed physician’s refusal or failure to” aid a patient in ending his or her life and to pay CMDA $300,000 for its attorneys’ fees and other expenses.
The president of the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV) has described assisted suicide as sometimes being the “greatest common good concretely possible” contrary to the Catholic Church's strenuous condemnation of the practice.
This betrayal of the Catholic faith by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia is not for the first time, with the PAV repeatedly causing scandal under his watch by:
- recently appointing a notorious pro-abortion atheist to the organization
- claiming contraception and artificial insemination are sometimes acceptable
- insisting that priests could accompany people through assisted-suicide, and
- that Italy's pro-abortion law is a “pillar” of the country's social life.
SIGN: Pope Francis must remove Abp. Paglia from the Pontifical Academy for Life
“Personally, I would not practice suicide assistance,” Archbishop Paglia told an Italian journalism conference last week, “but I understand that legal mediation may be the greatest common good concretely possible under the conditions we find ourselves in.”
Accepting an anti-life Italian court ruling that specified when assisted-suicide is permitted, the archbishop claimed “it is not to be ruled out that in our society a legal mediation is feasible that would allow assistance to suicide under the conditions specified by Constitutional Court Sentence 242/2019...”
From the outset of his presentation in Perugia, Paglia also undermined the authority of the Catholic Church on matters of faith and morals, stating: “First of all, I would like to clarify that the Catholic Church is not that it has a ready-made, prepackaged package of truths, as if it were a dispenser of truth pills.”
SIGN: Abp. Paglia must be removed from the Pontifical Academy for Life
The PAV issued a statement on Monday trying to clarify the archbishop's remarks, insisting that Paglia “reiterates his ‘no’ towards euthanasia and assisted suicide, in full adherence to the Magisterium”.
However, far from denouncing Paglia’s words, the PAV unsurprisingly supported its president. Referencing the Italian court ruling which partially decriminalized euthanasia by outlining exceptions to its illegality, the PAV stated it was in the context of this ruling that Paglia had made his comments.
In this precise and specific context, Msgr. Paglia explained that in his opinion a ‘legal mediation’ (certainly not a moral one) in the direction indicated by the Sentence is possible, maintaining the crime and the conditions under which it is decriminalized, as the same Constitutional Court has asked Parliament to legislate.
The PAV’s fudging of the issue was met with consternation from several Catholic commentators, with liturgist Matthew Hazell, who had highlighted Paglia’s original comments, asking “How hard is it for the @PontAcadLife to just say ‘sorry’ for scandalising the faithful? Indeed, how hard is it to actually adhere to the teaching of the Church on life issues? Are you so incapable of reading the signs of the times & interpreting them in the light of the Gospel?”
The Pontifical Academy for Life has tried & failed to explain @monspaglia's remarks. Paglia had spoken about the “accompaniment” needed for the dying, saying “in this context, it is not to be ruled out that in our society a legal mediation is feasible …” https://t.co/C3LU601aA2— Michael Haynes 🇻🇦 (@MLJHaynes) April 24, 2023
Sorry guys, not good enough. Nowhere near good enough.— Matthew Hazell (@M_P_Hazell) April 24, 2023
Archbishop Paglia's "opinion" on the possibility of "juridical mediation" regarding euthanasia is still contrary to the Catholic faith, as has been explained already. https://t.co/qMATq0UZrL pic.twitter.com/W8s4zLvkj7
Archbishop Paglia's comments about assisted suicide being "feasible" are wrong and harmful. It's the kind of "crack in the wall" that opponents of human life will run with to promote their agenda. The teaching of the Church is clear: Euthanasia is "morally unacceptable." Period.— Bishop Thomas Tobin (@ThomasJTobin1) April 24, 2023
SIGN: Abp. Paglia's presidency of the Pontifical Academy for Life is untenable
It's vital that the Church and PAV push back against the culture of death, rather than trying to accommodate it and accept a world that where the vulnerable are helped to kill themselves.
Be part of pushing back against the tide and making it clear that there is no room for confusion or betrayal when it comes to the sanctity of human life and the infallibilty of Catholic teaching on the matter.
SIGN AND SHARE THE PETITION WITH FRIENDS & FAMILY
Abp. Paglia defends assisted-suicide as 'greatest common good possible' for dying people - LifeSiteNews
“Our clients seek to live out their faith in their medical practice, and that includes valuing every human life entrusted to their care. Participating in physician-assisted suicide very clearly would violate their consciences,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot. “This is a significant victory for religious and conscientious physicians in California. The government can’t force any health care professional to act against his faith or medical ethics.”
While the ruling represents a victory for religious freedom and medical ethics, the ongoing national conflict between the assisted-suicide movement and conscience rights is far from settled.
The Biden administration has proposed rescinding federal regulations that provide conscience protections for professionals who do not want to engage in “abortion, sterilization, and certain other health services,” “assisted suicide, euthanasia, or mercy killing,” and for “managed care organizations with moral or religious objections to counseling or referral for certain services.”
The Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the United States can be reached by dialing 988.