what the catholic church says

“We need to accompany people to death, but not cause or promote assisted suicide. » During a meditation on death, in February 2022, Pope Francis strongly recalled the Catholic Church’s moral opposition to euthanasia and assisted suicide.

“Anyone who is about to live the last part of his life (must) do it in the most humane way possible” and “We must be careful not to confuse this aid with an unacceptable drift towards euthanasia”, he hammered.

Basic right to life

In his words, Pope Francis conveyed the Catholic doctrine on the subject of euthanasia, a practice that is allowed in five countries of the European Union (Austria, Belgium, Spain, Luxembourg and the Netherlands). The Catechism of the Catholic Church actually dedicates four articles to it.

“Those whose lives are getting shorter or weaker demand special respect. People with an illness or disability should be supported to lead as normal a life as possible. “, it was first stated (n. 2276). The Church defends the fundamental right to life and its inviolability. Since then, “Regardless of the motive and method, direct euthanasia consists in ending the life of disabled, sick or dying persons”. He is like this “morally unacceptable” for Catholics. Give death to take away the pain “Consists of a killing that is grossly contrary to human dignity and respect for God” (no. 2277).

“natural moral law”

The Church promotes the same moment of “proportionality of care” and the denial of“therapeutic non-stop”. “We do not want to cause death in this way; let’s admit that we can’t stop it. » (no. 2278). Speaking of the question of suffering, the catechism assures us of that “The use of analgesics to alleviate the suffering of the dying, even at the risk of shortening his life, may be morally compatible with human dignity if death is not desired, neither as an end nor as a means, but only known and permitted. as inevitable” (no. 2279).

Catholic doctrine further states that “Palliative care is a privileged form of selfless charity”. That’s how they are “encouraged”. Finally, in assisted suicide, remember that “Voluntary cooperation in suicide is against the moral law”.

In addition, in a dense text titled bonus samaritan, published in September 2020, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith developed for the first time in detail its doctrine on the end of life. “The inviolable value of life is a fundamental truth of natural moral law and an essential foundation of legal orderthe text is explained. Just as we cannot allow another person to be our slave, even if he asks us to, we cannot directly choose to destroy someone’s life, even if he asks for it. Consequently, preventing a patient who requests euthanasia does not mean recognizing his autonomy and valuing it, but on the contrary, it ignores the value of his freedom, which is strictly conditioned by the disease. »

Neither therapeutic relentlessness, nor euthanasia

In France, bishops reaffirmed their staunch opposition to euthanasia as the debate returned to the news. In their document Hope does not disappointpublished in January 2022, before the presidential election, they explained that “The greatness of a society is to help all its members to respect the life and dignity of all and especially the most vulnerable”. “The truly humane way, the one that contributes to the depth of peace, does not involve either therapeutic relentness or resorting to euthanasia: it requires respect and the attentive and compassionate accompaniment of each person at all times. stages of its existence.they insisted.

Already, in March 2018, the French episcopate published a declaration on the end of life calling for “the urgency of brotherhood” and confirms his “ethical opposition” of euthanasia. “It can be written in the heart of our societies to violate the civilized imperative: “Thou shalt not kill.” The signal sent will be dramatic for everyone, and especially for people with serious weaknesses, “ warned the bishops.

Personal choices, collective dimension

If the advocates of assisted suicide and euthanasia are asking “the sovereign choice of the patient, his desire to control his destiny”, the bishops remember that too “Our personal choices, whether we like it or not, have a collective dimension”, with “Freedom is always freedom in relationship”.

However, in addition to the debates of the faithful with a different doctrinal approach, the Church has begun a strategic evolution to continue to make its voice heard, while it is no longer able, in some countries, to be imposed by in. a balance of power or hear its traditional arguments. Let him say what he wants to “little bad” – assisted suicide rather than euthanasia – as recently in Italy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *