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20 Feb

Assisted Suicide and Physicians’ Conscience Rights

“I am now giving you the choice between life and death, between God’s blessing and God’s curse, and I call heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Choose life.” Deuteronomy 30:19

Assisted Suicide and Physicians’ Conscience Rights:

Opponents of Physician-Assisted-Suicide (PAS) contend that doctors have a moral responsibility to keep patients alive as reflected in the Hippocratic Oath. They argue there may be a “slippery slope” from euthanasia to murder and that PAS will unfairly target the poor and disabled and create incentives for insurance companies to terminate lives in order to save money. (, 12/19/16)

This “slippery slope” argument is addressed by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, writing about ethics in the Atlantic Monthly, in which he affirms that there is a lesson to be learned from the Netherlands and Belgium, where there is widespread breach of legal safeguards leading to a sizable incidence of non-voluntary euthanasia. He fears the eventual outcome of PAS laws could be euthanasia of the demented, the mentally ill, the old, and others. (, 3/24/15;, 7/18/16)

A Warning from Canada:

The “Medical Assistance in Dying” report, February, 2016, recommended that all Canadian doctors have a legal duty either to provide assisted suicide or provide an “effective referral” to someone who will provide it. Recommendation 10 of the report recognizes there may be a direct conflict of rights and interests between a patient seeking suicide and a doctor with ethical and moral standards opposed to providing this option. However, Recommendation 10 subordinates the values, rights and ethical interests of the doctor to the wishes of the patient.

Many physicians in Canada warn of this “slippery slope” to the kind of social and medical ethics that corrupts and erodes the core virtues essential for survival of a free society. It would be wise to pay attention to what is happening in Canada, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Switzerland, since already six American states (CA, OR, WA, MT, NM, and VT) have recently legalized physician assisted suicide. The New York State legislature is now considering a so-called “medical aid in dying” bill. (, 3/18/16; stat, 1/19/17;, 5/16/16)

“Do not abandon wisdom, and she will protect you; love her and she will keep you safe. Getting wisdom is the most important thing you can do.” Proverbs 4:6-7

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Fortnight for Freedom 2016: Witnesses to Freedom

Fortnight 2016 Diocese poster flyer

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Free to Speak:
Our public schools are not “God-Free Zones”

America’s children need not leave their faith at the school house door.

For students to be silenced or disciplined by an authority figure, for appropriate religious expression should never happen. Sadly, young students may well conclude…

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Religious Freedom Resources

Educational resources for parish members who work to support Religious Freedoms.

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At World Meeting of Families: Defending Freedom of Religion

WorldMeetingofFamiliesBarbara Samuells, president of Catholics for Freedom of Religion and a parishioner at St. Matthew’s, Dix Hills, shares her experience at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.

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Religious Freedom: Our First Amendment Right

Fortnight for Freedom 2016: Witness to Freedom Rally held at St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School

In Service to the Church

Click here to watch Barbara on TeleCare TV.

Pope blesses boy as he leaves audience in St. Peter's Square at VaticanPope Francis has observed that “religion [cannot] be relegated to the inner sanctum of personal life, without influence on societal and national life.” Evangelii Gaudium. . . , no. 183. In insisting that our liberties as Americans be respected, Pope Benedict XVI said that this work belongs to “an engaged, articulate and well-formed Catholic laity endowed with a strong critical sense vis-à-vis the dominant culture.” Therefore, catechesis on religious liberty is not the work of priests alone. If religious liberty is not properly understood, all people suffer and are deprived of the essential contribution to the common good, be it in education, health care, feeding the hungry, civil rights, and social services that individuals make every day, both here at home and overseas.

Catholics for Freedom of Religion
Mission Statement


America’s First Amendment guarantees its citizens five freedoms, the first of which is Freedom of Religion. Freedom of Religion includes the freedom to worship according to one’s beliefs as well as the freedom to practice that faith in everyday life according to one’s conscience.

So that this First Amendment freedom may be practiced and preserved for generations yet unborn it is essential that Americans understand this freedom and the circumstances from which it came. A fitting place for the development of this understanding and protection of Religious Freedom is inside all faith communities.

Catholics for Freedom of Religion offers resources to parish members who work to support Religious Freedom by initiating parish laity groups with these suggested goals:

  • To educate and inspire for Freedom of Religion
  • To remain non-partisan, advocating for no candidate or party
  • To invite and include other faith communities
  • To become a permanent group within each parish to educate every generation of Catholics about our Freedom of Religion…how rare it is, how dearly it was purchased for us and how certainly it is being lost.
  • To recognize and oppose attacks on Freedom of Religion from any source

“We hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, that religion, or the duty we owe our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence. The religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right.” James Madison

“While Americans presume that the Constitution guarantees their rights, in practice our rights survive or disappear based on how firmly we defend them.” Archbishop Charles J. Chaput Phone 631-896-8331

National Religious Freedom Day

Click here to view a video about National Religious Freedom Day 2014.