What Is The Catholic Position On Physician Assisted Suicide?

By | September 3, 2019


Let’s see if we can get Kelsey in
Colorado in before we go. Kelsey you are on with Jimmy Akin, what is your…well, let
me see…maybe not…oh okay, sorry, go ahead, Kelsey, sorry. Hi,
I’m doing a research paper on the growing culture of death. I’d like to know what the Catholic position is on physician-assisted
suicide? Okay. The Catholic position is that physician-assisted suicide is intrinsically evil. It is always intrinsically wrong to kill
an innocent human being. And to put doctors in the position of killing their
patients is something that is evil in and of itself. Doctors should be
ministers of healing, not of death; and consequently, rather than killing their
patients, they should seek better solutions. Now there are many situations
where people are in great pain, but the solution is not to kill the patient.
The solution is to help with the pain, and to give patients the kind of pain
relief that they need. This is something that–we’re very fortunate today, we have
very excellent and effective ways of relieving pain, and fundamentally we
should seek to alleviate the suffering of patients so that they don’t want to
kill themselves, because that’s not the solution here. We’re not masters of our
own lives, they’re not simply things we can dispose of, and it’s fundamentally
inhumane when you say that–and it’s a loss for all of humanity, and it’s not
compassionate, to say that the solution to a medical problem is killing the
patient. That’s contrary to the medical profession, and the mission of medical professionals. It’s also contrary to the dignity of the
patients themselves, because if a patient has been
reduced by suffering to a position where the patient wants to kill himself
or herself, then we’ve already passed the point where there’s been a failure, and
the solution is to undo that failure by relieving the person’s sufferings so
that they no longer have that desire, they no longer feel that desperate that
they want to end their life in order to end their suffering. If you’d like to
read more about this, there’s some discussion of it at the website of
the US Conference of Catholic Bishops; just go to USCCB.org, that’s for United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB.org,
and type in “physician-assisted suicide.” There will be information there, we also
have some at Catholic.com, and there’s a lot of easily accessible
information on the web for your research paper, and good luck with it.

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