Sign up below to join a growing list of faith leaders across Maryland who are opposed to the legalization of physician-assisted suicide.
This letter (copy of letter text is below) will be given to members of the General Assembly this year to clearly show them how strong the opposition to physician-assisted suicide legislation is among faith leaders of all religions. Please enter your information in the forms below to add your name to this letter, and help to defeat this legislation once again.
Dear Members of the Maryland General Assembly:
We are writing in opposition to legislation we expect will once again be filed in the Maryland General Assembly this session that would legalize physician-assisted suicide in Maryland.
This legislation would allow doctors to legally prescribe a lethal dose of prescription drugs to a patient who has received a terminal diagnosis of six months or less to live.
As leaders representing a diverse group of voices, churches, and faiths across Maryland, we are strongly opposed to this type of legislation that is dangerous for families, patients, and society as a whole.
Physician-assisted suicide is a dangerous proposition for our healthcare system. First, it is nearly impossible to accurately predict the timeline for a terminal diagnosis. Many patients outlive their prognosis by months, years and decades; some living long enough to get new treatments that result in a cure or dramatically longer lifespan.
Other concerns with this legislation include:
• A lack of safeguards against coercion of our most vulnerable populations including the elderly and those with disabilities.
• Insurance companies may select physician-assisted suicide for patients instead of more costly, life-preserving treatments.
• No requirement that doctors give patients a proper screening for depression or mental illness before providing physician-assisted suicide.
• No doctor, nurse, or independent witness is present when the lethal dose is taken.
• People can pick up their lethal prescription at their local pharmacy.
• No requirement to notify family members that you plan on taking a lethal medication.
Our focus should be on expanding palliative care and hospice services to improve the quality of life for patients with terminal illness. These options are already available to Maryland residents and provide a peaceful, pain-free end of life, and death.
Maryland Faith Leaders Who Have Already Signed On
- Rev. Nathaniel Thomas, Forestville New Redeemer Baptist – District Heights, MD
- Rev. Dr. Juanita D.M. Brower, Forestville New Redeemer Baptist Church – District Heights, MD
- Rev. Eloisa Brown, Forestville New Redeemer Baptist Church – District Heights, MD
- Pastor Dr. Bobby Manning, First Baptist Church of District Heights – District Heights, MD
- Rev. Robert W. Nelson, Immanuel’s Church – Silver Spring, MD
- Imam, Earl El-Amin, Muslim Community Cultural Center of Baltimore – Baltimore, MD
- Pastor Calvin Freeland Sr., Sacred Ground Praise & Worship Center – Capitol Heights, MD
- Pastor Allan Gray, NuVision Kingdom Life Center – District Heights, MD
- Pastor Bret Hicks, Bay Ridge Christian Church – Annapolis, MD
- Rev. Tony Lawson, Former Pastor, Providence Inspirational Baptist Church – Baltimore, MD
- Pastor Kevin Spence, Restoration Covenant Church – Millersville, MD
- Pastor Cleveland Morrison, Point of Grace Community Church – Beltsville, MD
- Pastor Damon Parran, eChurch- Everybody’s Church – Landover, MD
- Pastor Don Littlefield, Bridge Church – Annapolis, MD
- Pastor Chuck Sheetenhelm, Chesapeake Christian Fellowship – Davidsonville, MD
- Pastor Pat Packeti, Chesapeake Christian Fellowship – Davidsonville, MD
- Pastor Stephen Mitchell, Trinity Bible Church – Severna Park, MD
- Rev. Robert Stevens, Emmanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church – Pasadena, MD
- Rev. Thomas Burr, St. Paul’s Anglican Church – Crownsville, MD
- Fr. Louis Bianco, Archdiocese of Baltimore – Baltimore, MD
- Fr. Ross Conklin, Our Lady of the Fields – Millersville, MD
- Fr. James Boric, St John the Evangelist – Severna Park, MD
- Fr. Michael DeAscanis, St. Philip Neri Church – Lintchium, MD
- Rev. Prince Decker, Epiphany Episcopal Church – Forestville, MD
- Rev. William Covington, Grace Cathedral – Bowie, MD
- Fr. Henry Kunkel, St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church – Pylesville, MD
- Rev. Msgr. Rick Hilgartner, St. Joseph Catholic Church – Cockeysville, MD
- Pastor Kevin Regan, Holy Family Church – Hillcrest Heights, MD