"Psychological Terrorism" Assailed in Euthanasia Debate

La Civiltà Cattolica Cites Political Pressures in Italy

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 15, 2001 (Zenit.org).- In its latest edition, the Italian review La Civiltà Cattolica focuses on the «psychological terrorism» being used to introduced euthanasia in Italy.

The fortnightly publication, whose drafts are reviewed by the Vatican, explains that the Dutch Chamber of Deputies´ approval of euthanasia has encouraged «pressure on public opinion to convince it of the need to legalize the law of ´assisted death´ also in Italy.»

Father Giuseppe De Rosa, the essay´s author, says that press articles frequently «run down whoever is against euthanasia» by describing the opponent as «reactionary.»

The article, however, explains that Catholic opposition to euthanasia is based on considerations of the natural order, such as the principles of respect for life and the person.

Father De Rosa points out that the Church has declared itself against therapeutic cruelty that provides for endless and futile treatments for terminal patients, and emphasizes the need for analgesic and palliative treatments to alleviate suffering.

«Care is key in avoiding recourse to euthanasia," the article states. This means care that does not allow the patient to feel he is a nuisance, throwing him into despair, to the point of asking for death. «Man´s real dignity lies in the courageous acceptance of the human condition, which entails suffering and death,» the article says.

Lastly, Father De Rosa addresses believers in particular: «For the Christian, suffering is never futile or meaningless.» To discover the reason for its existence, one must look at the Man who, after dying on the cross, resurrected, he writes.

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