Marker and Kathi Hamlon One of the most important public policy debates today surrounds the issues of euthanasia and assisted suicide. The outcome of that debate will profoundly affect family relationships, interaction between doctors and patients, and concepts of basic ethical behavior. With so much at stake, more is needed than a duel of one-liners, slogans and sound bites.
In this regard, the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council solemnly reaffirmed the lofty dignity of the human person, and in a special way his or her right to life. The Council therefore condemned crimes against life "such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia, or willful suicide" Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spesno.
More recently, the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has reminded all the faithful of Catholic teaching on procured abortion. It is indeed true that, in this sphere of teaching, the recent Popes have explained the principles, and these retain their full force; but the progress of medical science in recent years has brought to the fore new aspects of the question of euthanasia, and these aspects call for further elucidation on the ethical level.
In modern society, in which even the fundamental values of human life are often called into question, cultural change exercises an influence upon the way of looking at suffering and death; moreover, medicine has increased its capacity to cure and to prolong life in particular circumstances, which sometime give rise to moral problems.
Thus people living in this situation experience no little anxiety about the meaning of advanced old age and death.
They also begin to wonder whether they have the right to obtain for themselves or their fellowmen an "easy death," which would shorten suffering and which seems to them more in harmony with human dignity.
A number of Episcopal Conferences have raised questions on this subject with the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Congregation, having sought the opinion of experts on the various aspects of euthanasia, now wishes to respond to the Bishops' questions with the present Declaration, in order to help them to give correct teaching to the faithful entrusted to their care, and to offer them elements for reflection that they can present to the civil authorities with regard to this very serious matter.
The considerations set forth in the present document concern in the first place all those who place their faith and hope in Christ, who, through His life, death and resurrection, has given a new meaning to existence and especially to the death of the Christian, as St.
As for those who profess other religions, many will agree with us that faith in God the Creator, Provider and Lord of life - if they share this belief - confers a lofty dignity upon every human person and guarantees respect for him or her.
It is hoped that this Declaration will meet with the approval of many people of good will, who, philosophical or ideological differences notwithstanding, have nevertheless a lively awareness of the rights of the human person. These rights have often, in fact, been proclaimed in recent years through declarations issued by International Congresses; and since it is a question here of fundamental rights inherent in every human person, it is obviously wrong to have recourse to arguments from political pluralism or religious freedom in order to deny the universal value of those rights.
Most people regard life as something sacred and hold that no one may dispose of it at will, but believers see in life something greater, namely, a gift of God's love, which they are called upon to preserve and make fruitful.
And it is this latter consideration that gives rise to the following consequences: No one can make an attempt on the life of an innocent person without opposing God's love for that person, without violating a fundamental right, and therefore without committing a crime of the utmost gravity.
Everyone has the duty to lead his or her life in accordance with God's plan. That life is entrusted to the individual as a good that must bear fruit already here on earth, but that finds its full perfection only in eternal life.
Intentionally causing one's own death, or suicide, is therefore equally as wrong as murder; such an action on the part of a person is to be considered as a rejection of God's sovereignty and loving plan. Furthermore, suicide is also often a refusal of love for self, the denial of a natural instinct to live, a flight from the duties of justice and charity owed to one's neighbor, to various communities or to the whole of society - although, as is generally recognized, at times there are psychological factors present that can diminish responsibility or even completely remove it.
However, one must clearly distinguish suicide from that sacrifice of one's life whereby for a higher cause, such as God's glory, the salvation of souls or the service of one's brethren, a person offers his or her own life or puts it in danger cf.
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.SACRED CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH. DECLARATION ON EUTHANASIA. INTRODUCTION. The rights and values pertaining to the human person occupy an important place among the questions discussed today.
Abandonment: giving up a legal right. Abatement: cancelling a writ or action; stopping a nuisance; reducing the payments to creditors in proportion, if there is not enough money to pay them in full; or reducing the bequests in a will, in proportion, when there is not enough money to pay them in full.
Jan 04, · It's possible to argue about the way we've divided up the arguments, and many arguments could fall into more categories than we've used.
Allowing euthanasia undermines the committment of doctors.
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Vegetarianism - Should People Become Vegetarian? Obesity - Is Obesity a Disease? Euthanasia (from Greek: εὐθανασία; "good death": εὖ, eu; "well" or "good" – θάνατος, thanatos; "death") is the practice of intentionally ending a life to relieve pain and suffering.. There are different euthanasia laws in each initiativeblog.com British House of Lords Select Committee on Medical Ethics defines euthanasia as "a deliberate intervention undertaken with the express.
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