Trocaire College will host a panel discussion on the issue of physician-assisted suicide on Thursday, April 6. The event is open to the public, and the community is welcomed and encouraged to attend.
Physician-assisted suicide allows mentally capable, terminally ill adults to request and receive prescription medication to hasten their own dying process. The term is often used interchangeably with other phrases such as physician-assisted death, aid in dying and death with dignity. Six states along with the District of Columbia have legalized the often hotly debated act, and there is currently similar legislation working its way through the New York State Assembly and Senate.
“New York could very well become the seventh state in America to legalize this practice, so this issue is more relevant than ever,” said Bob Shearn, Trocaire’s director of Mission, Ministry and Service. “Physician-assisted suicide elicits a wide range of reactions, whether you’re looking through the lens of Catholic social teaching or from the perspective of healthcare and end-of-life care practitioners. We hope this discussion will prompt a thoughtful and respectful dialog at Trocaire and in the greater community.”
The panel will focus on whether people have a fundamental “right to die” and if so, what is the role/responsibility of the state, and by extension public institutions, concerning that right.
- Dr. Serife Tekin (Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Damen College)
- Dr. Christopher Kerr (Chief Medical Officer, Hospice Buffalo)
- Father Richard “Duke” Zajac (Author and Chaplain, Sisters of Charity Hospital)
Moderator: Father Thomas Mitchell (Episcopal priest and Trocaire philosophy professor)
The discussion will be held from 3-4:30 p.m. April 6 in the Margaret Wendt Center within Trocaire’s main Campus, located at 360 Choate Ave. in Buffalo.
Parking is limited—guests are invited to park on the streets surrounding Trocaire, or in the Salem Lutheran Church parking lot on Whitfield Avenue in the visitor’s parking area. Whitfield Avenue is located off McKinley Parkway near the McClellan Circle. A free Trocaire shuttle runs continuously from the lot to the college.