Washington State voters have approved an initiative allowing for medically-assisted suicide and many Catholic news sources have been writing about this latest development.
This issue really concerns me, in more ways than one. As a person living with an incurable cancer and systemic lupus, I know better than most how painful such diseases can be and how modern medicine often can not alleviate the excruciating pain that accompanies them without also bringing a person's life to an end in the process. I certainly can't blame someone for not wanting to die writhing in pain or after having to spend months on end heavily drugged into a semi-unconscious stupor.
That said, I am concerned about the sort of pressure that many people with incurable illnesses face. It's easy to feel like a burden when you know that staying alive may bring about financial ruin for your spouse and/or children, when you know that they can't afford to pay for you to get the sort of treatment that might make it possible for you to receive hospice care, when you know that a protracted final illness will mean dying in the cold, sterile environment of a hospital instead of the place of your choosing. Maybe if people of faith put as much effort into addressing these problems as they expend fighting about the perceived tragedy of abortion, then they might actually convince more people that they aren't just against women being able to control their own bodies.