Report: Assisted suicide advocates teaching at Catholic universities
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 22, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Advocates of assisted suicide are teaching at Jesuit universities despite the U.S. Catholic bishops’ strong opposition to the immoral practice, says a new report issued Tuesday by The Cardinal Newman Society.
On Thursday, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a strong condemnation of assisted suicide, warning of an “aggressive nationwide campaign” to legalize the deadly practice.
But in a special report published Tuesday by Crisis Magazine, Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick J. Reilly reveals that four major Jesuit universities have employed professors with “scandalous associations” to the assisted suicide movement: Georgetown University, Marquette University, Santa Clara University and Boston College.
Reilly’s report names numerous professors who support assisted suicide at these universities, some of whom have even received honors from the institutions for their career achievements.
Tom Beauchamp, a professor of philosophy at Georgetown University, served on the board of directors for the Compassion in Dying Federation, which advocated Oregon’s “death with dignity” law and opposed prohibitions against assisted suicide in other states.
Santa Clara ethicist Lawrence Nelson tried unsuccessfully to have the California Supreme Court force the removal of Robert Wendland’s feeding tube after the man was disabled in a 1993 car accident. In 1996, he signed an amicus brief in Vacco v. Quill and Washington v. Glucksberg stating, “the right of competent, dying patients to physician-assisted suicide is a negative right to be free from state interference.”
Marquette theologian Daniel Maguire, who has been denounced by the U.S. bishops for his support for abortion, same-sex “marriage,” and contraception, also supports assisted suicide.
And one of America’s leading assisted suicide advocates, Charles “Buzzy” Baron, only just retired from Boston College Law School. Baron serves on the board of directors of the Oregon Death With Dignity Political Action Fund and authored the pro-assisted suicide amicus brief in the Supreme Court cases of Vacco v. Quill and Washington v. Glucksberg. He also helped develop the model legislation for legalizing assisted suicide that has served as the basis for efforts in several states.
“[These professors] have done more than betray the Catholic Church when they advocated assisted suicide from their platforms at Jesuit universities,” wrote Reilly. “Their primary credentials are (or were) as Jesuit university professors. Their participation in academic societies and symposia and journals has depended on their teaching and research positions at major universities. When dealing with ethical issues, no doubt their affiliation with Catholic universities has opened many doors.
“In no small way, then, Catholic universities are partly responsible for such professors’ influence by virtue of their employment,” he continued. “Academic freedom protects professors’ rights to seek truth according to the methods of their discipline. But when professors deny the truths of faith and disregard the common good—especially of those whose lives are snuffed out prematurely—they violate the mission of a Catholic university.”
Reilly noted that it was a “particular irony” that the U.S. Bishops’ assisted suicide statement was released simultaneously with their ongoing 2011 review of Catholic colleges’ implementation of Vatican guidelines for Catholic higher education in the 1990 constitution Ex corde Ecclesiae.