WASHINGTON, D.C., January 10, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Rep. Jason Chaffetz said he will work to block the District of Columbia from enacting its newly-signed assisted suicide law.
Chaffetz, R-Utah, is the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which may review and send D.C. laws to Congress for reconsideration.
Democratic D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser quietly signed the “Death With Dignity Act,” which allows doctors to help gravely sick patients commit suicide, just before Christmas on December 20. It had easily passed the D.C. city council twice despite fervent opposition to the bill from the African-American, disability rights, and pro-life communities.
“The assisted suicide issue is not something we take lightly,” said Chaffetz. “This body [Congress], which does have jurisdiction, should be given a right to vote on that.”
The House and Senate must vote against the law by February 16 in order to overturn it. The measure overturning it would then go to the President. Physician-assisted suicide wasn't a major bioethical issue in the general election, but President-elect Donald Trump has made a series of strong pro-life statements and promises.
On December 27, more than 1,000 Orthodox Jewish rabbis under the auspices of The Rabbinical Council of America released a statement opposing the legalization of assisted suicide. The rabbis promised to provide “support for those who struggle with suicidal thoughts and their loved ones and [express] sympathy for individuals and families affected by suicide.”
“According to Jewish law and tradition, taking one’s own life is an act of murder,” the rabbis said.
The Little Sisters of the Poor, Catholic nuns who serve the elderly poor in the nation's capital, also adamently oppose the law.