Physician-assisted suicide and the sacraments


In 2016, physician-assisted suicide was legalized in Colorado when voters approved Proposition 106, “Access to Medical Aid in Dying.” Colorado statues have been changed to include the Colorado End-of-Life Options Act, which allows Colorado doctors to write a suicide prescription for a consenting person who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness with six months or less to live.

As disciples of Our Lord, we know that life is a gift from God. We are stewards, not owners, of the life God has entrusted to us.

Additionally, suicide contradicts our natural inclination to preserve and perpetuate our life, and it also contradicts the way Jesus Christ accepted death.

Suicide is gravely contrary to charity and to the three loves that constitute our existence: the love for God, the just and proper love of self, and the love for one’s neighbor (breaking the ties of solidarity with one’s family and nation).

As we encounter loved ones in our families, parishes and communities who are considering Physician-Assisted Suicide, here are some guidelines developed by the bishops of Colorado on how to address this critical end-of-life issue in the context of our Catholic faith.