09/02/2019, 15.05
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Pope: euthanasia is not freedom, it’s seeing the patient as an expense

"The practice of euthanasia, which has become legal already in several states, only apparently aims to encourage personal freedom; in reality it is based on a utilitarian view of the person, which becomes useless or can be equated to being an expense, if from the medical point of view they have no hope of improvement or can no longer avoid pain ".

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Euthanasia, which is presented as a choice of freedom, is actually the result of a utilitarian vision of the person, that has the reductive view of the patient as "a cost" that must be eliminated if medicine believes the cannot be treated.

Pope Francis met today with the members of the Italian Association of Medical Oncology reaffirming this view of euthanasia and asking the Association to continue working to promote "a culture and practices" that are more attentive to the "value of each person".

Since 1973, the non-profit Association has carried out a "precious function in the health field", encouraging research and prevention and developing, updating and training initiatives for oncology sector operators.  Francis spoke to them of "the oncology of mercy" because the effort to personalize care reveals "an attention not only to the illness, but to the patient and their characteristics, to the way they react to medicines, to the most painful information, to suffering". An oncology of this type goes "beyond" the application of the protocols and reveals a "use of the technology that is at the service of people".

In fact, the Pope said, technology is not at the service of humanity when it reduces the human being to a thing, when it distinguishes between those who still deserve to be treated and those who do not, because they are considered only a burden and often - indeed useless.

The practice of euthanasia, which has become legal already in several states, only apparently aims to encourage personal freedom; in reality it is based on a utilitarian view of the person, who becomes useless or can be equated to an unnecessary expense, if from the medical point of view it has no hope of improvement or can no longer avoid pain ".

"Never lose heart for the misunderstanding that you might encounter, or in front of the insistent proposal of more radical and hasty paths. If one chooses death, problems are solved in a sense; but how much bitterness behind this reasoning, and what rejection of hope involves the choice of giving up everything and breaking all ties! Often, we are in a sort of Pandora's box: all things are known, everything is explained, everything is resolved but only one is hidden: hope. And we have to go look for this. How to translate hope, indeed, how to give it in the most extreme cases".

The example of dedication to those who suffer, as Francis said, remains that of Jesus, "the greatest teacher of humanity". "His figure, the contemplation of which is never exhausted so great is the light that emanates from it, inspires the sick and helps them to find the strength not to interrupt the bonds of love, to offer suffering for the brothers, to keep alive the 'friendship with God. Inspire the doctors - He who in a certain way said he was your colleague, as a doctor sent by the Father to heal humanity - to always look for the good of others, to spend himself generously, to fight for a more supportive world. Inspire everyone to be close to those who suffer: closeness, that attitude that is so important and so necessary. The Lord also made it, the closeness, in our midst. Inspire everyone to be close to those who suffer, to the little ones above all, and to put the weak in the first place, so that a more human society may grow , a society of relationships marked by gratuitousness, rather than opportunity”.

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