Vatican condemns 'intrinsic evil' of euthanasia

A patient is pictured in a file photo chatting with a nun at a New York palliative care facility (CNS/Gregory A. Shemitz)

The Vatican has issued a strongly-worded condemnation of euthanasia, describing it as an “act of homicide” while ruling that those planning to end their lives should not receive the sacraments. Source: The Tablet.

A new document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith sets out the Church’s long-held opposition to deliberately ending a person’s life who is suffering, but does so in markedly tougher language than in the past.

“Euthanasia, therefore, is an intrinsically evil act, in every situation or circumstance,” the text, titled Samaritanus Bonus (The Good Samaritan), states.

“Euthanasia is an act of homicide that no end can justify and that does not tolerate any form of complicity or active or passive collaboration. Those who approve laws of euthanasia and assisted suicide, therefore, become accomplices of a grave sin that others will execute.”

The document, which focuses on “the care of persons in the critical and terminal phases of life”, examines a range of end-of-life issues including palliative care, children born with an illness which means they are unlikely to live long and pastoral care for the dying. It was approved by Pope Francis on June 25 this year.

While the Church does not permit any action that would artificially end lives, official teaching contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church points out that “discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legitimate; it is the refusal of ‘over-zealous’ treatment”. The intention, however, must not be to cause death.


Vatican condemns 'intrinsic evil' of euthanasia (By Christopher Lamb, The Tablet)


“Euthanasia is a crime against human life, incurable does not mean end of care” (Vatican News)

Vatican says those who choose euthanasia cannot receive sacraments (Crux

Vatican reaffirms, clarifies church teachings on end-of-life care (CNS

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