In the wake of Oregon's passage of a physician-assisted suicide bill Nov. 8, Priests for Life, a national organization that supports the clergy in advancing the pro-life cause, is organizing a euthanasia education campaign.
Oregon voters approved a referendum by a vote of 51 to 49 percent, allowing physicians to prescribe a lethal drug to terminally ill patients. When the law takes effect Dec. 8, the state becomes the first jurisdiction in the country to decriminalize physician-assisted suicide.
Father Frank A. Pavone, a priest of the New York archdiocese and the national director of Priests for Life, said, "People who are suffering from terminal illness deserve better choices than death. They deserve the care and love of people around them and the full extent of pain management treatments." His organization is trying to reach priests, he said, "so that they may educate their people to reject death as a solution to suffering."
Priests for Life is offering a packet of material on euthanasia, including bulletin inserts, handouts for adult education groups, articles about living wills, voluntary and involuntary euthanasia and other topics. (Priests for Life, P.O. Box 141172, Staten Island. N.Y. 10314.)