Activist complains that Catholic hospitals won’t facilitate assisted suicide

In an opinion piece published in the Seattle Times, Tom Preston,  a retired physician who was one of the leaders of the successful assisted suicide lobby in Washington State, complains that Catholic hospitals in the state will not facilitate assisted suicide. “Throughout Washington,” he claims, “doctors are being silenced and forced to adhere to religious rules that prevent any participation in death with dignity,” and that “many Washingtonians are denied access to legal and humane end-of-life medical care.”

Writers with a different view of assisted suicide would respond that Catholic hospitals provide “humane end-of life medical care” as well as “death with dignity,” though not assisted suicide.  In any case, the position taken by Preston demonstrates that the legalization of morally contentious procedures like euthanasia and assisted suicide tends to generate political and social pressures inimical to freedom of conscience among health care workers and institutions.

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