Christian Doctors argue Law requiring them to participate in Assisted Suicide

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A law in California which requires Christian doctors to participate in assisted suicide is being debated on. The law, known as SB 380, was signed by the state governor, Gavin Newsom in 2021. The law reduces the period of wait for end-of-life drugs to 48 hours from 15 days.

The lawsuit says that doctors who do not want to participate in assisted suicide are free to be exempted but they still they still have to join at the start of the process.

The reason is that the doctor who does not agree with the law will still put down the date the person requested for the end-of-life drugs in the medical books. Thereafter, the record will be given to another health care entity or worker.

Hence, the law says that all doctors – including those whose religious beliefs do not allow them to participate - to start the process for the suicide request for a patient.

On Tuesday, the suit was filed on behalf of Christian Medical and Dental Associations (CMDA) and a Christian physician, Leslee Cochrane in federal court. They are represented by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

Denise Harle, ADF senior counsel and director of the ADF Center for Life said, “Our clients seek to live out their faith in their medical practice, and that includes valuing every human life entrusted to their care.

“Participating in, or referring a patient for, physician-assisted suicide very clearly would violate their consciences. No health care professional should be forced to act against their religious beliefs and medical ethics, and the state of California is wrong to enforce such coercion.”

According to the lawsuit, more than 90 percent of CMDA members do not support the new law and they would rather stop practicing medicine than be forced to participate in assisted suicide or other practices that violates their conscience.

The lawsuit noted that the new law violates the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment guarantees of free speech and religious liberty.

Cochrane added that the suit seeks to live out his Christian beliefs in his practice of health care, including his belief in the sanctity of human life. 

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