The Public Policy Committee of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo is hosting a public forum on Thursday, Sept. 8, to address proposed New York State legislation that would legalize doctor-assisted suicide. The bill has already been approved by the Assembly Health Committee, setting the stage for a possible vote this year. Senator Diane Savino, of Staten Island, and Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, of Scarsdale, each sponsored bills which 'relate to a terminally ill patient's request for and use of medication for medical aid in dying.'
Bishop Richard J. Malone, in a video message to all parishes and schools, said, "I renew my call to Catholics and all people of good will to oppose this evil of assisted suicide. It's an issue where the Church sees no grey area. Proponents of this legislation call it 'dying with dignity', but the Catholic Church hardly considers it dignified to go against God's plan and choose the time and method of one's death."
All are welcome to attend the question and answer session on Thursday, Sept. 8, at 7 p.m. in the St. Gregory the Great Ministry center in Williamsville. The forum will begin with a prayer by Father Leon Biernat, pastor of St. Gregory the Great Parish. Guests will be welcomed by Public Policy Committee Chair, Kevin Keenan, president and CEO of Keenan Communications Group. The panelists include former New York State Attorney General Dennis Vacco, who argued before the US Supreme Court, defending New York's Manslaughter statute. Vacco is now a partner in the Litigation Practice Group at Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman LLP.
Kathleen Gallagher will provide some insight on this issue through her role as director of Pro-Life Activities for the New York State Catholic Conference. Cheryl Calire, director of Pro-life Activities for the diocese will read a message from Bishop Richard J. Malone. Historian and writer, Steve Cichon, will serve as emcee of the event hosted by the Public Policy Committee, of which he is also a member.