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May 19, 2022

Catholic Medical Association Files Amicus Brief in Support of Centura Health, Speaks Out Against Physician Assisted Suicide

Philadelphia, PA- May, 19, 2022- Catholic Medical Association has filed an Amicus Brief in support of Centura Health, a Christian health care system in Colorado composed of Catholic and Seventh-day Adventist hospitals, including St. Anthony Hospital, the Catholic Hospital where Centura holds that one of its doctors who violated its policy on physician assisted suicide was let go.

“Catholic health care has a sacred trust with those seeking its services, promising that it will do all in its power to alleviate their suffering without engaging in the ultimate form of patient abandonment: physician assisted suicide,” said Craig Treptow, M.D., CMA President.  

The Amicus Brief reads in part: “All agree that Centura’s religious beliefs demand that it not participate in physician-assisted suicide and that its policy prohibiting doctors from doing so is rooted in those beliefs.” 

It continues on to say: “In order to fulfill the guarantees of the First Amendment and its vital protections for religious medical professionals and healthcare organizations” the Court must not support claims made by the plaintiff-appellate in this case. 

“The ultimate failure of health care is when a health care professional chooses to eliminate the sufferer as a means of alleviating suffering,” said Dr. Marie Hilliard, Co-Chair of CMA’s Ethics Committee. 

“Catholic health care promises to always protect its patients. As Pope Benedict XVI has said: ‘A society unable to accept its suffering members and incapable of helping to share their suffering and to bear it inwardly through ‘com-passion’ is a cruel and inhuman society’ (Encyclical letter Spe salvi, n. 38),” added Dr. Hilliard. 

CMA remains dedicated to advocating against physician assisted suicide, among many other ethical issues which compromise the conscience rights of health care professionals and jeopardize the dignity of patients. 

The full Amicus Brief is available to read on CMA’s website by clicking here

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