Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington
55 Joy Drive, South Burlington, VT 05403     802-658-6110

Contact Information

Deacon Phil Lawson 
(802) 658-6110 Ext. 1453


Lori Daudelin
802-658-6110, ext. 1131


Carrie Handy
802-658-6110, ext. 1176

Doctor-Assisted Suicide

"For me that is the greatest development of the human life, to die in peace and in dignity, for that's for eternity."
- Mother Teresa -
View/Download Our Latest Publication:

   - Frequently Asked Questions

   - USCCB - To Live Each Day with Dignity

   - On Holy Ground:
     A Catholic Instruction on Christian Death


The Catholic Church opposes both physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia. Catholic teaching strongly affirms that life must be valued not only when it brings pleasure and well-being, but also in times of suffering and death. Life is a gift from God. We are stewards of life, not dictators of life. All life, at every stage is precious. True compassion calls us to embrace those who are dying, not provide them with the means to end their lives. 


What you need to know about Doctor-Assisted Suicide in Vermont

 Despite determined efforts on the part of a broad-based coalition of Vermonters, physician-assisted suicide became legal in the State of Vermont with the passage of Act 39 in May of 2013.

 The law can be viewed HERE  

The elderly, poor, disabled and marginalized are at risk for coercion and abuse because of the existence of this bad law. Our position is that no amount of safeguards can make Act 39 acceptable or safe. Doctor-assisted suicide is at the top of a slippery slope that will move from “choice to die” to “duty to die,” and enable the elimination of people who have been deemed dispensable, burdensome and too expensive to care for in our society. If any one person is vulnerable because of age, illness, disability or financial need, then we are all vulnerable.  

Christ calls us to love our neighbors, particularly the sick, elderly, disabled, vulnerable and dying.  We must ensure they have adequate resources and support in their time of need.  We must also continue to work and pray for the repeal of Act 39 in Vermont. 

Because of Act 39, it is more important than ever that Catholics have an Advance Directive.  This is a legal document written in advance of a serious illness or injury to address end-of-life medical care and/or medical care in the event an individual is temporarily unable to speak for him- or herself.  The best time to complete an advance directive is when one is healthy, since medical crises are not restricted to older populations.

Complete information on how to complete a Vermont Catholic Advance Directive can be found HERE.

Fact Sheet on Assisted Suicide

Physical Address:
55 Joy Drive - South Burlington, VT 05403
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Telephone: 802-658-6110

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