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Q: Is the debate over euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide primarily religious in nature?


Compassion and Choices, the largest choice-in-dying organization in the United States, writes in the "Frequently Asked Questions" portion of their website, accessed on October 27, 2006:

"The primary opposition to the idea that terminally ill, mentally competent people should be able to choose to hasten death with medical assistance often comes from religious sources, primarily the Catholic hierarchy and, more recently, the right-to-life movement."


Kathleen Foley, M.D., and Herbert Hendin, M.D., write in the introduction to their 2002 book, The Case Against Assisted Suicide: For the Right to End-of-Life Care:

"Many proponents of legalization maintain that opposition to legalization is fundmentally religious in nature and that secular objections are only a cloak for underlying moral convictions concerning the sanctity of life...

It is worth noting that such nonreligious organizations as the American Medical Association, the American Geriatrics Society, the American Hospital Association, and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization are strongly opposed to legalization for reasons that are obviously medical and social."

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