The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has been working on a number of resources to counter the well-funded, multi-state campaign to legalize physician-assisted suicide. One resource in development is a planned set of short videos featuring the stories of various people who are against legalization. Based on our recent “right brain” research on people’s attitudes about assisted suicide, the stories are begin chosen to address their most pressing concerns.
The first vide0, Maggie’s Story (watch below), features Maggie Karner, a 51-year-old mother of three, who was diagnosed last year with terminal brain cancer. She reclaims the term ‘dignity’ and places it at the heart of a loving family. She shares her dad’s courageous witness when he was rendered a quadriplegic for the last 5 months of his life, allowing Maggie and her siblings to keep him company and attend to his basic needs. Through the gift of that time spent together, he taught her to face down her own final days with true grace and dignity.
Other video stories in development include a man whose father committed suicide with physician assistance who shares about the conflict and grief for the family he left behind; and a formerly pro-assisted suicide cancer patient and her caring physician who helped guide her in a different direction. The videos will appear on the USCCB website, but their primary “host” will be the Patients’ Rights Action Fund to benefit from cross-promotion among like-minded (but not necessarily sectarian) organizations. Our research clearly showed that in reaching the general public, overly religious presentations on assisted suicide are quickly dismissed.
For additional information on these resources, please don’t hesitate to contact Deirdre McQuade at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (202) 541-3087.
Thank you for your continued prayers and efforts.