Megachurch pastor Rick Warren has spoken out against a new California bill that would allow terminally ill patients to end their lives through physician-assisted suicide. Warren is one of several Christian leaders to voice an opinion against California Senate Bill 128, The Christian Post reports.
Warren, who lost a son to suicide in 2013, said, "I oppose this law as a theologian and as the father of a son who took his life after struggling with mental illness for 27 years.”
He continued, "The prospect of dying can be frightening. But we belong to God, and death and life are in God's hands... We need to make a radical commitment to be there for those who are dying in our lives."
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange also recently expressed its opposition to the legislation, writing, "The claim to a right to assisted suicide raises many questions, not the least of which is this: if there is a 'right to assisted suicide,' why would such a right be restricted only to those in the throes of terminal illness? What about the elderly person suffering a slow but non-terminal decline? What about the adolescent or young adult in the throes of depression, demoralization, or despair? What about the middle-aged man who is alone and simply tired of life?
"While laws may initially erect fences around the practice of assisted suicide — having six months to live, being over the age of 18, having mental capacity, etc.— these 'safeguards' will eventually be unmasked as arbitrary."
Publication date: April 14, 2015