Physician-Assisted Suicide - Homily Helpers




Exodus 20:1-17 | 1 Cor 1:22-25 | John 2:13-25

Key Points

  • The 10 Commandments demand more of us than it may seem on the surface – false idols can include things like money, fame, or pleasure, and killing can include a failure to respect the inherent dignity of the human person.
  • Our culture tends to elevate autonomy as an idol above all else, which can lead it to violate the dignity of the human person by concluding that some of the most vulnerable in our society, who are dependent on others for care such as the sick, disabled, and elderly, no longer have value.
  • The Minnesota Legislature is currently considering a bill (H.F. 1930/S.F. 1813) to legalize assisted suicide – please tell your representatives to promote better care alternatives for all people and vote no on the assisted suicide bill that would endanger the elderly and those with disabilities.

Additional Ideas

  • Often when we look at the list of 10 Commandments it can be easy to dismiss some of them as not really relevant to us. For instance, we might think that the commandments to not have any gods besides the one God and to not kill are pretty easily satisfied. Most of us have probably not built any golden calves or committed murder. However, these commandments include much more than the obvious prohibitions against building idols and committing murder.
  • Whenever we place greater importance on something in our lives other than God, we sin against the first commandment. This can be big things like fame and fortune or small things like skipping Mass to watch a football game. One of the most common false idols in our culture today is pleasure.
  • Our culture emphasizes the pursuit and attainment of pleasure above all else. Autonomy has become the measure of goodness and value, so much so that some people think a life without independence is no longer worth living. So extreme is our culture’s worship of autonomy that Minnesota is now considering legalizing assisted suicide.
  • This leads into the other commandment: You shall not kill. Any time we do not act in a way that respects the inherent dignity of the human person we sin against this commandment. When we treat people like commodities whose value can shift depending on their state in life, we act like the money changers in the temple whom Jesus reprimanded. We fail to acknowledge that each one of us is also a temple, with immeasurable worth given to us by God.
  • Assisted suicide elevates autonomy as an idol over God and disrespects the dignity of the human person. It preys on the weak and vulnerable in our society, treating them as disposable by making judgments about some people’s lives being worth more than others. The 10 Commandments demand more than refraining from building golden calves – please reach out to your representatives in the Minnesota Legislature and ask that they vote no on the bill to legalize assisted suicide.

SUNDAY, MARCH 10, 2024

2 Chr 36:14-16, 19-23 | Ephesians 2:4-10| John 3:14-21

Key Points

  • God loves each of us completely and unconditionally – we are his handiwork, which gives us inherent dignity and value.
  • Advocates of assisted suicide attempt to disguise the practice as compassionate “aid in dying” but the reality is it treats some people’s lives as worth less than others by permitting the killing of the most vulnerable.
  • The Minnesota Legislature is currently considering a bill (H.F.1930/S.F. 1813) to legalize assisted suicide. Please embrace God’s love for each of us, his handiwork, and contact your state house member and senator and tell them to vote no on the bill. We do have choices in managing our healthcare at the end of life and public policy should always promote better care, not hasten death.

Additional Ideas

  • In the second reading and the Gospel today, we see just how much God loves us. We hear about how God decided to send his only Son to save us from our sins, purely out of his abundance of mercy and his love for us. We are reminded that God loves us no matter what, “even when we were dead in our transgressions.” There is nothing we can do and nothing that can happen to us that will make God stop loving us and make us lose our worth.
  • Additionally, we hear at the end of the second reading that “we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.” Each one of us was made specially by God in his own image and likeness. Because of this, every single one of us has immeasurable value and an inherent dignity that can never go away.
  • There are some people in our society, however, who refuse to acknowledge the dignity and value of some of the most vulnerable members of our community. They look at the elderly, the sick, and the dying, and rather than seeing the incredible beauty and value of their lives as beings that are made by and loved by God, they dismiss them as better off dead because they have “poor quality of life.”
  • However, as the Gospel warns us, “everyone who does wicked things hates the light.” So, the advocates of assisted suicide attempt to disguise the evil of the practice. Some Minnesota legislators refer to it as “aid in dying” so that it may sound compassionate and be confused with the legitimate practice of palliative care or hospice. But whereas palliative care and hospice respect the dignity of the human person by providing pain relief to those with serious terminal illnesses, the “aid in dying” proposed in the state Legislature would legalize the killing of those with serious illnesses.
  • Assisted suicide fails to respect the inherent dignity of the human person that comes from our being the handiwork of God who loves each one of us unconditionally, whether we are healthy or seriously ill. Advocates attempt to disguise the practice as compassionate, but the reality is that it declares some people’s lives to be worth less than others. Please reach out to your senators and representatives in the Minnesota Legislature through the Catholic Advocacy Network ( and tell them to vote no on this bill to legalize assisted suicide.
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