Vatican calls euthanasia a crime

Vatican calls euthanasia a crime
Vatican calls euthanasia a crime
24 September 2020, 09:55Society
The Roman Catholic Church continues to oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide, considering them sinful "in any situation and under any circumstances".

Irina Ziganshina

This is stated in a new document issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, reports Associated Press.

This position of the Vatican is nothing new, and the promulgation of the document is most likely due to the fact that the law allowing death when suffering becomes unbearable is adopted or at least discussed around the world - including in traditionally Catholic countries...

“Euthanasia is a crime”, - says the document entitled “The Good Samaritan: On the Care of Persons in the Critical and Terminal Phases of Life”, published by the oldest and the most important of all Vatican congregations, and obviously with the approval of Pope Francis. Legislators who pass laws permitting euthanasia or assisted suicide are declared by the document to be "complicit in a grave sin that others commit".

In Europe, euthanasia is legalized in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. In Spain and Portugal, its adoption is being discussed. Switzerland in some cases admits suicide with the help of a doctor. Italy and France, also in some cases, allow terminally ill patients to discontinue treatment. Italy's high court ruled last year that there are circumstances in which assisted suicide should not be considered illegal. New Zealand is likely to hold a referendum on this issue in October.

The Vatican document contains instructions for Catholic hospitals and health care workers, urging them to "refrain from immoral behavior", which, for example, includes referring patients requiring euthanasia to other hospitals. In addition, it criticizes the use of medical protocols that regulate the procedure for dying, for example, when doctors refuse resuscitation measures. The document mentions that patients planning to commit suicide are denied access to ordinances, including confession and anointing.

According to Marco Cappato, one of the activists of the movement for the adoption of a law on euthanasia in Italy, the document "violates the laws of the Italian state and deprives patients of the right to self-determination." The Vatican is committing violence against terminally ill people, writes Cappato, forcing them to choose "between unbearable suffering and the risk of secret euthanasia".

“The fact that a person is incurable does not mean that caring for him should be stopped”, says the document, the authors of which call for a “broader concept of care” for the hopelessly sick. Referring to Pope John Paul II, the document calls on medical professionals to refuse euthanasia and "treat, if possible, take care of any situation".

However, the document clearly states that a terminally ill patient can refuse "treatment that provides only severe and painful prolongation of life". In 2017, Pope Francis, speaking to participants in a medical conference at the Vatican, said that while euthanasia or assisted suicide is not permitted, stopping treatment for terminally ill people in some cases may be “morally legal,” and that death must be resigned in those cases. when it is useless to oppose it.

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