Euthanasia is a crime against life. The direct killing of another human being, or assisting someone to take their own life can never be a compassionate response to human suffering.
Those who approve of euthanasia and assisted suicide, often argue that legislation will ensure that no-one will ever be put in a situation where they are coerced or killed without their consent. But these people miss the point. Consent doesn’t change the nature of the act, which is the willful death of another human being.
The Church has the duty to preach what is true about faith and morals. Deeply embedded in the natural law, her Declaration on Euthanasia is true not only for believers, but for all people at all times.
“In order that the question of euthanasia can be properly dealt with, it is first necessary to define the words used.
Etymologically speaking, in ancient times Euthanasia meant an easy death without severe suffering. Today one no longer thinks of this original meaning of the word, but rather of some intervention of medicine whereby the suffering of sickness or of the final agony are reduced, sometimes also with the danger of suppressing life prematurely.
Ultimately, the word Euthanasia is used in a more particular sense to mean “mercy killing,” for the purpose of putting an end to extreme suffering, or having abnormal babies, the mentally ill or the incurably sick from the prolongation, perhaps for many years of a miserable life, which could impose too heavy a burden on their families or on society.
It is, therefore, necessary to state clearly in what sense the word is used in the present document. By euthanasia is understood an action or an omission which of itself or by intention causes death, in order that all suffering may in this way be eliminated. Euthanasia’s terms of reference, therefore, are to be found in the intention of the will and in the methods used.
It is necessary to state firmly once more that nothing and no one can in any way permit the killing of an innocent human being, whether a fetus or an embryo, an infant or an adult, an old person, or one suffering from an incurable disease, or a person who is dying. Furthermore, no one is permitted to ask for this act of killing, either for himself or herself or for another person entrusted to his or her care, nor can he or she consent to it, either explicitly or implicitly. nor can any authority legitimately recommend or permit such an action. For it is a question of the violation of the divine law, an offense against the dignity of the human person, a crime against life, and an attack on humanity.
It may happen that, by reason of prolonged and barely tolerable pain, for deeply personal or other reasons, people may be led to believe that they can legitimately ask for death or obtain it for others. Although in these cases the guilt of the individual may be reduced or completely absent, nevertheless the error of judgment into which the conscience falls, perhaps in good faith, does not change the nature of this act of killing, which will always be in itself something to be rejected.
The pleas of gravely ill people who sometimes ask for death are not to be understood as implying a true desire for euthanasia; in fact, it is almost always a case of an anguished plea for help and love. What a sick person needs, besides medical care, is love, the human and supernatural warmth with which the sick person can and ought to be surrounded by all those close to him or her, parents and children, doctors and nurses.”
- Support your local hospice by volunteering your time, or by delivering good quality items to your local hospice shop (make sure the items are clean and in good saleable condition).
- Learn more about the End of Life Choice Act, 2019, and share this information with friends, family, and colleagues.
- Vote NO in the upcoming End of Life Choice referenda.
Prayer for the Terminally Ill
Lord Jesus, you healed so many during your public ministry. I bring before you now in prayer, all those who are terminally ill. Look lovingly and compassionately upon them. Let them feel the strength of your consolation. Help them and their families accept this cross that they are asked to carry. Let them see you carrying their cross, with them, at their side, as you once carried yours to Calvary. May Mary be there too, to comfort them. Lord Jesus, I know that if it is your will, you can cure those I pray for (especially N.). I place my trust in you. I pray with faith, but I also pray as you did in Gethsemane: Your will be done. Amen.