Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch defended his opposition to assisted suicide yesterday during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.
Gorsuch has written a book specifically opposing assisted suicide saying that the the intentional taking of human life is always wrong. Gorsuch wrote: “All human beings are intrinsically valuable and the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong.”
He defended that view yesterday saying that there’s a difference between intentionally causing someone’s death and a patient dying naturally after receiving appropriate Medical Care to alleviate their pain. That defense came during questioning from pro-abortion Senator Diane Feinstein.
“You make the statement that there is no justification for having anything to do with the end of someone’s life, encouraging the end of life,” Feinstein said, referring to a book Gorsuch wrote. “Well, California just passed an End of Life [Option] Act” legalizing assisted suicide.
“I, in my life, have seen people die horrible deaths, family, of cancer, when there was no hope,” the California Democrat said, “and my father begging me, ‘Stop this, Dianne. I’m dying.’”
Gorsuch said he stands by his opinion in his book regarding the Supreme Court’s decision in Cruzan when it decided that “an incompetent person does not have the same constitutionally protected right as a competent person to refuse life-sustaining treatment.”
“What I wrote in the book was I agree with the Supreme Court,” Gorsuch said, adding that he understood where Feinstein was coming from.
“Your father, we’ve all been through it with family, and my heart goes out to you, it does. And I have been there with my dad. And others. And at some point you want to be left alone. Enough with the poking and the prodding. ‘I want to go home and die in my own bed in the arms of my family.’ And the Supreme Court recognized in [Cruzan v. Director] that that’s a right in the common law, to be free from assault and battery, effectively,” he said.
Gorsuch said he supports efforts to alleviate pain, but could not support assisted suicide.
“Then, Senator, the position I took in the book on that was anything necessary to alleviate pain would be appropriate and acceptable, even if it caused death, not intentionally but knowingly,” Gorsuch said. “I drew a line between intent and knowingly. And I’ve been there. I have been there.”