Kerry “Personally Opposed” to Assisted Suicide But Will Not Oppose Oregon Euthanasia Law

PORTLAND, May 19, 2004 ( - US Presidential candidate John Kerry, who has angered Catholics for his endorsements of abortion and same sex unions, added euthanasia to the list while campaigning in Oregon. While on a break in Portland, Kerry was interviewed by Steve Law for the Statesman Journal.  In language that closely mimics the rhetoric of abortion supporters, Kerry says that Oregon’s euthanasia law is a “complex” issue best decided locally. “I think it’s up to the states to decide what they’re going to do there. It’s a very complicated, thorny, moral, ethical issue that people wrestle with. And I don’t think it’s the government’s job to step in,” he said.  Many abortion supporters, including Kerry, claim to be “personally opposed to abortion” but claim that the decision must be made on a personal basis by a woman and her doctor. Kerry echoes this when he says of doctor-assisted suicide, “I support decisions that doctors have to make. I think suicide is the wrong concept or approach personally.”  In speaking about his parents’ deaths, he says he understands why some families might choose the option of euthanasia for loved ones.  “As a child who’s lost two parents in the last years, (I know) what pain management is and what proper treatment in the final moments and years of someone’s terminal illness is. But there is a distinction between suicide and management.”  In the same interview, Kerry was asked why he is opposed to “gay marriage.” After saying that marriage “traditionally has been between a man and a woman,” he said, “It’s rights that are important, not the terminology of the state of the particular relationship. If your rights are protected, if you have all the rights afforded to anybody, it’s not that important what you call it.”  Read full interview in the Statesman Journal

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