Statement of Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R. after the signing of the “Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act” (A1504/S1072)
The Archdiocese of Newark regrets the enactment of legislation that permits medically assisted suicide. Every gift of human life is sacred, from conception to natural death, and the life and dignity of every person must be respected and protected at every stage and in every condition. Those whose lives are diminished or weakened deserve special respect. Sick or disabled persons should be helped to lead lives as normal as possible. Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of disabled, sick, or dying persons. It is morally unacceptable.
Modern health care has made enormous strides in reducing the pain of those terminally ill. As citizens of New Jersey, we should work together to support compassionate care for the disabled, chronically ill or dying. We also should be vigilant to a “slippery slope” that permits further modification of the criteria that presently limit the use of euthanasia, as well as health care providers that would deny medications that prolong life in favor of drugs that will end it.