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Church News

Christian doctors suing California state over forced participation in assisted suicides

by Alex Collett

The Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA) and a California Christian physician have filed a federal lawsuit against the state of California for revisions to a law that now requires doctors to participate in physician-assisted suicide. 

They argue the law violates their religious convictions and professional ethics.

Attorneys with the religious rights law firm Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) are representing Dr. Leslee Cochrane, M.D., and the CMDA against the state. 

The state of California first legalised physician-assisted suicide in 2015 with its passage of the controversial End of Life Option Act or SB 380. 

It was signed into law by then-Governor Jerry Brown (D).  

The law allows an adult diagnosed with a terminal disease, who meets certain qualifications, to request aid-in-dying drugs from their attending physician.

ADF Senior Counsel Denise Harle, 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."

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