Saturday, September 27, 2008

Euthanasia in Colombia

Colombia is the latest state to propose a draft law allowing euthanasia and assisted suicide

Zenit reports on a commentary on the new draft law by Legionary of Christ Father Ramón Lucas Lucas, professor of bioethics at Rome's European University and founding member of the Bioethics Observatory of the Catholic University of Colombia.

"According to the bioethicist, the Colombian draft law "is legal murder and a juridical contradiction," as it allows the elimination of "'useless old people,' terminal patients and, in certain cases, the appropriation of their goods."

In a reflection shared with ZENIT, Father Lucas Lucas explained that "even if masked with pretty words -- 'dignified death,' 'gentle death,' 'no suffering,' 'respect of dignity' -- it is a real crime."

He explained: "There is no doubt in the scientific, moral, political and religious realms about the fact that when medicine cannot offer a cure, what it must do is alleviate the suffering and pain of patients, not do away with them. The remedy for sickness is not to kill the patient, not even if he requests it."

"The patient does not desire death, what he desires is an end to suffering. That is why one can and must administer all kinds of palliatives of pain, including those that can indirectly accelerate death, but without the intention of killing the patient, as are those whose primary action is analgesic, and the secondary and unwanted effect is to accelerate death. Opposed to this, the voluntary and direct elimination of the patient is euthanasia.""