According to the Catechism, caring for the sick on the brink of death is regarded as “exceptional charity”
Amidst the international pandemic, when humankind is fighting with all its might to defend life and with the upcoming COVID-19 vaccines to reduce disease severity and deaths in millions of people, we reject with truly indignation the approval, by the Parliaments of some countries, of laws authorizing assisted suicide and euthanasia.
This killing is regarded as criminal, being opposed to the right to life and to God’s plan. Euthanasia is ethically and morally unacceptable (Catechism, 2277, 2278 and 2279). God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end. It is not up to man or woman to put an end to life.
“Euthanasia constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to respect due to the living God, his Creator. Even if death is thought imminent, the ordinary care owed to a sick person cannot be legitimately interrupted. Palliative care is a special form of disinterested charity. As such it should be encouraged”, the Catechism states.
In response to the passing of a law on this subject, the Vincentian Family in Portugal, faced with the attacks on evangelical values, published a very enlightening note reaffirming the respect for life and the Vincentian commitment to hope, which was signed by Portugal’s branches of the Vincentian Family, including our Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
“There can be no doubt about the SSVP’s stance on assisted suicide and euthanasia. We cannot turn a blind eye on the evil tendencies of the world, which generally go against the values advocated by Our Lord Jesus Christ, who healed the sick (Matthew 4, 23) and raised the dead (Luke 7, 14). The vaccine that the world really needs is the vaccine of love”, stressed Brother Renato Lima de Oliveira, 16th President General of the SSVP.
Below is the full text of this note, praying to God that such laws are revoked or annulled, and that life may always be a divine gift we must seize with joy and gladness (John 10, 10). In support of the Vincentian Family, we kindly request that this message be widely disseminated in all the countries of our Confederation: