Pope: life is sacred and belongs to God, no to euthanasia and assisted suicide
In the message for the upcoming World Day of the Sick, Francis asks "to the governments of all the countries of the world" that "by combining the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity, they cooperate so that everyone has access to adequate care to protect and recover their health".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The Pope's new "no" to euthanasia and assisted suicide, as "life is sacred and belongs to God" and because they are acts contrary to the dignity and respect of the person who must always be at the center of action for those working in the health sector. Pope Francis' statement is contained in his message for the 28th World Day of the Sick, which as usual occurs on February 11, the liturgical memory of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lourdes.
On the Day of the Sick, Francis writes, "Jesus does not make demands of those who endure situations of frailty, suffering and weakness, but offers his mercy and his comforting presence. He looks upon a wounded humanity with eyes that gaze into the heart of each person. That gaze is not one of indifference; rather, it embraces people in their entirety, each person in his or her health condition, discarding no one, but rather inviting everyone to share in his life and to experience his tender love".
In sickness, the Pope notes again, “, individuals not only feel threatened in their physical integrity, but also in the relational, intellectual, affective and spiritual dimensions of their lives. For this reason, in addition to therapy and support, they expect care and attention. In a word, love. At the side of every sick person, there is also a family, which itself suffers and is in need of support and comfort". All realities that “attract the eyes and heart of Jesus. In him, you will find light to brighten your darkest moments and hope to soothe your distress. He urges you: “Come to me”. . " And the Church "wants to be more and more and better the" inn "of the Good Samaritan who is Christ (cf. Lk 10:34), that is, the house where you can find his grace which is expressed in familiarity, in welcome, in relief ".
"is played by healthcare workers: physicians, nurses, medical and administrative professionals, assistants and volunteers. Thanks to their expertise, they can make patients feel the presence of Christ who consoles and cares for the sick, and heals every hurt.".
Addressing therefore directly to "dear health workers", the message reminds that "every diagnostic, preventive, therapeutic, research, cure and rehabilitation intervention is addressed to the sick person, where the noun 'person' always comes before the adjective 'sick' '. Therefore, your action is constantly aimed at the dignity and life of the person, without any yielding to euthanasia, assisted suicide or suppression of life, even when the state of the disease is irreversible ". "
When confronted with the limitations and even failures of medical science before increasingly problematic clinical cases and bleak diagnoses, you are called to be open to the transcendent dimension of your profession that reveals its ultimate meaning. Let us remember that life is sacred and belongs to God; hence it is inviolable and no one can claim the right to dispose of it freely (cf. Donum Vitae, 5; Evangelium Vitae, 29-53). Life must be welcomed, protected, respected and served from its beginning to its end: both human reason and faith in God, the author of life, require this.".
"In some cases, conscientious objection becomes a necessary decision if you are to be consistent with your “yes” to life and to the human person. Your professionalism, sustained by Christian charity, will be the best service you can offer for the safeguarding of the truest human right, the right to life. When you can no longer provide a cure, you will still be able to provide care and healing, through gestures and procedures that give comfort and relief to the sick".
Lastly, the message is addressed "to healthcare institutions and government leaders throughout the world not to neglect social justice out of a preoccupation for financial concerns. It is my hope that, by joining the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity, efforts will be made to cooperate in ensuring that everyone has access to suitable treatments for preserving and restoring their health. I offer heartfelt thanks to all those volunteers who serve the sick, often compensating for structural shortcomings, while reflecting the image of Christ, the Good Samaritan, by their acts of tender love and closeness". "To the Blessed Virgin Mary, Health of the Sick, I entrust all those who bear the burden of illness, along with their families and all healthcare workers".