Initiative Petition 1112 will allow Massachusetts residents to ask their physicians for lethal medication to kill themselves. Presently, it authorizes only those with terminal diseases to make such request. Nevertheless, if adopted, it will create a real threat to all people with disabilities.
There are no safeguards to ensure that such patients, when conscious, are competent to make donation decisions. There are no safeguards to ensure that such patients are not clinically depressed. There are no safeguards to ensure that members of the local OPO or primary health care team are trained to identify such depression.
"[Prenatal testing and diagnosis] techniques were developed to enhance the well-being of mother and child and foster the ability to deliver healthy babies. Yet, when the goal is achieved by delivering only healthy babies and denying life to those deemed less than perfect, a Machiavellian distortion of the good these techniques intended is effected."
"The National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD) applauds the 240 members of Congress who supported The Stupak-Pitts Amendment in the US House of Representatives’ Health Care Reform proposal (H.R. 3962). This amendment would permanently prevent the funding of abortion within the public option of the plan."
"On behalf of NCPD and the 14 million disabled Catholics it represents, I urge you not to promulgate the draft NIH guidelines on human stem cell research. Rather than aiding disabled people, the guidelines will ultimately compromise their lives by advancing the proposition that human beings with disabling conditions are expendable."
"On behalf of the National Catholic Partnership on Disability and the 14 million disabled Catholics it represents, I urge you not to rescind the “Health Care Provider Conscience Rule.” Rescission will expose providers to discrimination and coercion for attempting to protect disabled human life."
"We oppose the initiative because it is cynically misleading. We oppose the initiative because it substitutes lethal prescriptions and illusory safeguards for compassionate care. We oppose the initiative because it does not mandate family involvement. Finally, we oppose Initiative 1000 because its supporters aim to include people with disabilities and we emphatically reject assisted suicide as a response to disability."
NCPD takes this occasion to thank the bishops for the 1978 Pastoral Statement on People with Disabilities. The statement furnished the impetus for creating, four years later, in 1982, NCPD out of the National Advisory Committee on Ministry with Handicapped People. NCPD has also used the 1978 Pastoral Statement as a foundation from which to press for civil legislation, fostering greater participation in public life on the part of citizens with disabilities.