December 5, 2017

Roman Catholic bishops react to the vote of the Massachusetts Medical Society

Staff report


SPRINGFIELD – The Massachusetts Catholic Conference (MCC), representing the four Roman Catholic bishops of Massachusetts, has issued a response to reports that the Massachusetts Medical Society has voted to change its position on physician-assisted suicide from opposition to neutrality.

In a Dec. 5 press release, the MCC states: “This past weekend the Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) voted to alter their official position on the issue of Physician Assisted Suicide. A vote changing from a position of strongly opposed to Physician Assisted Suicide to one of neutrality is disappointing and sends the wrong message to the citizens of Massachusetts.

“The disappointment is magnified given the fact that physicians are trained to care for the ill, not to hasten death. The Catholic Bishops of Massachusetts stand united in our strong opposition to Physician Assisted Suicide,” the press release stated. “It is an affront to life and a dangerous precedent for determining end of life issues.”

Springfield Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski responded to the MMS’s change of position in a Dec. 4 statement, saying, “Recently I learned of the change of position of the Massachusetts Medical Society from opposing physician-assisted suicide to becoming neutral on the issue. This indeed is a great disappointment especially for a group which is supposed to be dedicated to the care of all people.

“As bishop of the Diocese of Springfield, united with the bishops and Catholic people across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, we remain solidly opposed to physician-assisted suicide as an affront to life and a dangerous precedent for determining end-of-life issues,” Bishop Rozanski said.