The Political Action Committee of the Connecticut Coalition of Reason is teaming up with the Secular Coalition for Connecticut to rally the large non-religious population of Connecticut around three important pieces of legislation. These three legislation include: Aid in Dying, Standardization of Oaths, and Patient’s Right to Know. The two secular groups are planning to support these legislation with a road show to all the CT CoR groups, a secular briefing for the governor and legislators, training citizens on how to contact their legislators and do home district visits, and hosting a secular lobby day in the state capitol currently scheduled for Tuesday March 14, 2017.
Aid in Dying – is the right of competent terminally ill patient’s to choose medical end of life options rather than suffer needlesly during their last few moments of life. This legislation has been supported by Compassion & Choices CT and the Connecticut Coalition of Reason for several years now. All of these efforts failed as the bill never made it out of committee for a vote on the floor due to strong faith based opposition from the Catholic Church and Knights of Columbus, who spent over $1 million in CT to defeat the bill in 2015, and fear based opposition from handicapped organizations, who foster the notion that handicapped people may be murdered if the bill passes.
Standardization of Oaths – is a bill designed to standardize Connecticut’s legal oaths to include wording that covers both those who wish to swear to God and also those who prefer to affirm their sincere intention rather than swearing to God. The idea is for all of Connecticut’s oaths to be acceptable to non-believers as well as to believers. Several existing oaths, but not all, are worded in this way. This bill would require ALL current and future oaths to conform to this standard. This bill, conceived and written solely by the CT CoR, never made it to committee last year. We’ll be pushing hard on this one again in 2017.
Patient’s Right to Know – is new to Connecticut this year after Amanda Knief of the American Atheists brought this to our attention at the CARE conference in April. The crux of this legislation is to counter the Catholic Church’s growing influence over healthcare provided to a large number of patients’ without their knowledge that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops often prohibits doctors from performing basic reproductive services: contraception, sterilization, in vitro fertilization, abortion – and also end-of-life care. Today, one in six patients in the U.S. is cared for at a Catholic hospital. This legislation would ensure the right of all patients to be informed of the standard of care regardless of the hospital’s or healthcare provider’s sincerely held beliefs so that they can make fully informed decisions to continue with treatment or take their business elsewhere.
If you are interested in learning more, how you can help, or would like to know how you can volunteer your time to support these efforts, please email Pat McCann.