"We call on Catholics, and on all persons of good will, to reject proposals to legalize euthanasia. We urge families to discuss issues surrounding the care of terminally ill loved ones in light of sound moral principles and the demands of human dignity, so that patients need not feel helpless or abandoned in the face of complex decisions about their future. And we urge health care professionals, legislators and all involved in this debate to seek solutions to the problems of terminally ill patients and their families that respect the inherent worth of all human beings, especially those most in need of our love and assistance."
"Legalizing euthanasia would also violate American convictions about human rights and equality. The Declaration of Independence proclaims our inalienable rights to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." If our right to life itself is diminished in value, our other rights will have no meaning. To destroy the boundary between healing and killing would mark a radical departure from long-standing legal and medical traditions of our country, posing a threat of unforeseeable magnitude to vulnerable members of our society. Those who represent the interests of elderly citizens, persons with disabilities and persons with AIDS or other terminal illnesses are justifiably alarmed when some hasten to confer on them the "freedom" to be killed.
Reflections on the growing problem of euthanasia require a word regarding the medical profession. The word is first of all one of gratitude. So many people have dedicated themselves to the care of others. The skills of medicine are skills to preserve and care for life. The heart and soul of the medical profession is UNWAVERING RESPECT FOR THE DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON, a dignity which is not bestowed by the State or by anyone else, but belongs to the very nature of the person. Those who promote this dignity deserve thanks. The state of our times is also a plea to those who practice medicine: never allow the skills of your profession to be used to destroy the gift of life. Euthanasia is just a nice word for killing. We must oppose the trend which says that there are some lives not worth living. We must oppose the mentality which says that we should end a life in order to eliminate suffering. No, we do not end life. We care for it. When life is weak and afflicted with pain, it is all the more deserving of our care. Our times demand courage and wisdom. May these not be lacking to any one of us!
Euthanasia is wrong, no one has a right to decide when someone dies i would have thoght all the advances in medical science were to enhance the quality of life rather than to produce better and supposedly dignified ways of dying!
As I have explained above, not every medical treatment is always obligatory. But to figure out which treatments are obligatory, morally speaking, and which are only optional, one must know the medical facts of the case. These facts are then examined in the light of the moral principles involved. But to try to make that decision in advance is to act without all the necessary information. Moreover, to make that decision legally binding by means of a formal document is really putting the cart before the horse. It is not morally justified.
Medical resources are limited, and beyond a certain point intervention for one person means that needed medical care is not available to others. Relatives of someone who is brain dead need to be able to grieve. However, Christians reject the idea that dementia or retardation lessens the intrinsic value of human life.
. How much function is needed before human life has value? How retarded or demented does a person have to be before they are a candidate? What about the insane, habitual criminals, trouble-makers?
doesn’t have the same problem of outsiders deciding who is fit to live.
What the slippery slopes have in common is that it is cheaper and easier for a society to kill people who are retarded or in severe pain than to provide the proper care for them.
In summary, since life belongs to God euthanasia is not a moral option for a Christian, though I would be slow to pas judgment on someone who avoided severe pain by taking their life.
Secular opponents argue that whatever rights we have are limited by our obligations. The decision to die by euthanasia will affect other people - our family and friends, and healthcare professionals - and we must balance the consequences for them (guilt, grief, anger) against our rights.
Increasingly, in the courts and the media and in conversation, we are hearing about euthanasia and the so-called "right to die." It's time we all are fully informed about what is going on, and what the appropriate response should be. Euthanasia is not a future problem. It is a present problem. It is happening now and becoming increasingly accepted. And we are asleep, not realizing that the road we are on will lead to the massive elimination of the elderly and "incompetent," and anyone else considered to be a burden to society. Consider the Nancy Cruzan case. She had been in a coma for almost eight years, but was NOT dying, NOT deteriorating. The courts allowed food and water to be discontinued, and 12 days later (on the day after Christmas) she died. Note well, she did not die of the coma. She died of starvation. She was 33. Or consider Dr. Jack Kevorkian, who let Janet Adkins, a 54 year old sufferer of early Alzheimer's, use his homemade "suicide machine" to kill herself. She pushed a button which released lethal fluids into her body. He has likewise administered death to dozens of others. Is this the direction we want our society to go? Is life valuable only when it is healthy? Are we the ones who decide when we die? Is suffering meaningless? The answer to all these questions is NO, and I hope in these reflections to explain why. Let us all do some serious thinking on these matters. It's a question of life and death. 2
The argument that "everyone has a right to do with their own body as they see fit" does not hold up. For example, prostitution has consistently been held to be illegal as are other crimes because they are not committed in a vacuum. There is no such thing as a "victimless crime." There are important societal spill-over effects. Certainly euthanasia is not about a private act. It really gives one person the ability to facilitate the death of another person. Thus it is a public matter. It can lead to abuse, erosion of care for the most vulnerable people.
Euthanasia is not a future problem. It is a present problem. It is happening now and becoming increasingly accepted. And we are asleep, not realizing that the road we are on will lead to the massive elimination of the elderly and "incompetent," and anyone else considered to be a burden to society.
3) There are two distinct questions: is Euthanasia morally justifiable, and should it be legalised.
God’s ownership of life is most relevant in relation to voluntary euthanasia, that is, assisted suicide. Proponents of assisted suicide argue that if we have the right to end our lives, then it should be legal to get help where we are unable safely to do it ourselves. Christians reject that we have that right. What about where pain is involved? Isn’t it compassionate to end suffering? This is of course the hardest aspect of the debate, because the Christian view will mean some people have to endure terrible suffering.
euthanasia refers to killing someone who is incapacitated and unable to decide they want to die. Such incapacity includes severe retardation, dementia, and permanent coma. The moral argument in favour of non-voluntary euthanasia is that such life has less intrinsic value than functional human life, and may not have enough value to justify the cost or inconvenience of keeping them alive.
Those in favour of euthanasia will argue that respect for this right not to be killed is sufficient to protect against misuse of euthanasia, as any doctor who kills a patient who doesn't want to die has violated that person's rights.