Church Joined by Illinois Medical Society in Opposing Assisted Suicide
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
April 25, 2024
ROCKFORD—In February this year a bill was introduced that would legalize  assisted suicide in Illinois. Should it pass, Illinois would join California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Montana, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington in being a so-called “right to die” state in the U.S.
The proposed legislation, SB3499, would create “end-of-life options” for the Terminally Ill Patients Act in Illinois.
The Catholic Church in Illinois is committed to opposing this affront to the life and dignity of the human person. It was joined in its opposition this month by the Illinois State Medical Society (ISMS) during their annual meeting held in April, according to the Patients’ Rights Action Fund. The ISMS  voted 52-30 to return to its original position of being “opposed” to physician-assisted suicide and is no longer “neutral” on the subject.  The group joins many others including those representing people with disabilities in opposing assisted suicide.
“While we certainly consider the decision by the ISMS a victory, we still must work to make sure this legislation does not become law in our state and increase efforts to develop more access to pain control through high quality palliative and hospice care. Every person has value no matter what stage or condition of life they may be in and should be respected accordingly,” said Therese Stahl, director of the Life and Family Evangelization Office for the Diocese of Rockford.
Under the bill, which was introduced Feb. 9 by Senate Assistant Majority Leader Linda Holmes,  a qualified patient with a terminal disease would be allowed to request that a physician prescribe them “aid-in-dying medication that will allow the patient to end the patient’s life in a peaceful manner,” the legislation states.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states “Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons. It is morally unacceptable.
“Thus an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator. The error of judgment into which one can fall in good faith does not change the nature of this murderous act, which must always be forbidden and excluded.” (CCC 2277)
The Catholic Conference of Illinois states on their website that, “This legislation brings a range of possible abuses. It should alarm us that in states with legalized assisted suicide there are documented cases of people being offered inexpensive lethal drugs to end their life rather than being provided more costly treatment. The poor and those with disabilities are particularly in jeopardy because they are the most vulnerable to abuses. Every major national organization that represents people with disabilities is opposed to assisted suicide.”
“We invite all diocesan Catholics to join their voices in opposing this morally repugnant bill,” Stahl said.
To stay informed on the progress of this legislation and to contact your local legislators go to
You can also get more information from the Life and Family Evangelization Office at
Shop Religious items at HOLYART.COM