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placeholder Blessed Chrism oils can provide healing, strength

MSJ Dominicans serve the young, the poor, the vulnerable

Thanksgiving Mass for new saint

Archbishop Romero story advances history of people struggling for justice

'Death with dignity' not suicide

Pope to declare new 'doctor of church'

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Just for Seniors: Events, activities and opportunities

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Marymount Villa: Finding joy in life

Hayward's All Saints Parish Busy Bees

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placeholder April 6, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 7   •   Oakland, CA
'Death with dignity' not suicide

WASHINGTON — As states around the country consider legalizing physician-assisted suicide, "death with dignity" looks markedly different for patients under the care of the Little Sisters of the Poor.

In her 27 years with the order that cares for the "elderly poor," Sister Constance Veit, LSP says she has never seen or heard a patient asking for a lethal prescription.

Sister Constance was part of a recent panel in Washington, D.C., on caring respectfully for the elderly sick. The event was titled "Living Life to Its Fullest."

End of life care was placed in the national spotlight late last year, when 29-year-old Brittany Maynard publicly announced her decision to take a lethal prescription rather than suffer terminal cancer.

In describing her situation, Maynard used terms that Sister Constance says she has never heard from the patients under her care, like "purposeless prolonged pain" and "prolonged involuntary suffering and shame."

The Death With Dignity National Center is pushing for these laws around the country.

Critics say the laws would unfairly pressure the elderly and disabled to end their lives. They charge such laws would normalize suicide as a solution to problems and decrease respect for life in American culture.

 
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