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  • Writer's pictureMario A. Guerra

Aqui y Ahora: Discussing CA’s Assisted Suicide law

October 12, 2015

Interesting how much “stuff” is needed for a TV interview. This was set up and done in my Downey office, and I was tired just watching them set up Lol. I am with correspondent Tifani Roberts from Aqui y Ahora which is Univisions 60 Minutes type format show. The subject was about California’s new assisted suicide law. It will be airing nationally next Sunday.

We, as a civilized society need to prevent suffering and assist those that need our help most. Both spiritually and physically.

I shared those moments and thoughts as I watched my mom and two brothers die slowly from terminal cancer. I prayed as I watched them, not to die but to end their suffering.

I actually had discussions with my mom about this when she was conscience and her worries were not about herself but about leaving us. And having to take care of her in her weakened state. Her hospice care was a blessing and the hope was to alleviate pain and give her comfort. I truly understand the personal want or need not to suffer or see a loved one suffer. I remember her apologizing to me for ” being a burden ” to us. My heart breaks every time I think of that conversation with her a few weeks before she passed away.

But the journey at the end of our lives should not be defined by suicide. Life, precious and in various forms should always be respected. We as a country need to protect the sanctity of life, whether abortion, death penalty or suicide.

And this bill does not do much to protect those that need our help the most. It does nothing to validate the lives of the most vulnerable.

This law seems to stand in direct contradiction to providing compassionate, quality care for those facing a terminal illness.

It seems to be the wrong way to advance the human dignity for those facing end of life decisions.

48 Catholic hospitals in California for example provide excellent palliative care services as all medical facilities for terminally ill patients should but often do not.

We must continue to stand with those in efforts to protect the most vulnerable Californians.

This legislation will adversely affect the poor, as those with resources will always have access to palliative care. But hospice is available already to everyone now regardless of finances.

It is also said the legislation places the elderly and disabled in “great peril” noting that “the option to offer the low-cost alternative of lethal drugs instead of proper medical care is a temptation not long resisted.

A very emotional and personal discussion. I completely understand and have empathy for those who have or are going through this terrible part of their lives.

Nothing is harder than to see a loved one dying. I will continue to pray for all those suffering and their families. I will also continue to pray for our country as we value the dignity of human life, from natural beginning to natural death.


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