The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) modified the OPTN Final Rule to include VCAs among transplantable organs, effective July 3, 2014. At its June meeting, the OPTN Board adopted an interim policy, without public comment but with a September 1, 2015, sunset provision. The VCA Transplantation Committee has solicited public comment on a proposal to make such policy permanent. Both provisions would permit living VCA donations.
My name is Stephen L. Mikochik. On behalf of NCPD and the thousands of disabled Maryland Catholics it serves, I testify in opposition to S.B. 676, which, in legalizing assisted suicide, is an open invitation to patient abuse.
To Committee Chairs Stone and Bonta:
My name is Stephen L. Mikochik. I am Professor Emeritus of Constitutional Law at Temple University in Philadelphia and past Chair of the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD). On behalf of NCPD and the thousands of disabled Catholics it serves, I would urge you, should it reach your desk, to veto Assembly Bill (AB) 15 that, in legalizing assisted suicide, is an open invitation to patient abuse.
"On behalf of both the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD), whose Ethics and Public Policy Committee I chair, as well as the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC), as Director of Bioethics and Public Policy, I am writing to request that your Committee refuse to endorse LB 1056: Patient Choice at End of Life Act."
"Christ calls the Church to provide for the spiritual, intellectual, and emotional needs of all her people as they journey toward maturity in the faith. Catechetical and academic instruction are essential components of that journey. Catholics with disabilities are equally entitled with all the faithful to such instruction appropriate to their needs."
"For the reasons ably set out in the National Catholic Bioethics Center’s June 20th letter, I urge the Board to reject the proposal as written. I will limit my remarks to the worst of the several flaws the proposal contains: Its authorization of organ solicitation before any decision to withdraw lifesupport is made."
"NCPD was established thirty years ago to implement the Pastoral Statement on People with Disabilities of the U.S. Catholic bishops. On behalf of NCPD and the fourteen million disabled Catholics it serves, I submit the following comments against the Policy Plain Language Rewrite (Rewrite) OPTN has proposed."
"I am Chair of the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD), which is an agency approved by the U.S. bishops to provide pastoral guidance for persons with disabilities. On behalf of NCPD, I urge you to not veto but to sign into law H.B. 1114, and thus help keep physician-assisted suicide and the threat it presents to disabled people from spreading."
"I am a resident of Montgomery County, Maryland, and also a consultant with the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD), on whose behalf I am testifying today. NCPD wishes to express our grave reservations with H.B. 449, as well as with the proposed amendment offered by the Department of Legislative Services, and urge that it not be voted out of Committee in its original or amended form."
There is no bright line between a disability considered terminal and one that is not. H.3884 offers lethal prescriptions to people whose conditions “will, within reasonable medical judgment, produce death within six months.”5 Such predictions are notoriously unreliable.6 Many people defy the odds and live on with their disabilities for many years.
Dr. Lake:I Chair the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD). NCPD was established thirty years ago to implement the Pastoral Statement on People with Disabilities of the U.S. Catholic bishops. On behalf of NCPD and the fourteen million Catholics with disabilities it serves, I urge UNOS to reject the proposal for changing the DCD Model Elements.