Bishops of Uruguay Urge Respect for Life

‘Our society must support laws that prevent and discourage any type of euthanasia and assisted suicide’

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“We need a Uruguay that welcomes, protects, promotes and accompanies each person during their existence, including the final stage of their earthly life, through the fundamental help of family, palliative medicine and authentic religious experience”: underline the Bishops of Uruguay in their “Declaration on euthanasia and medically assisted suicide” with which they intend to contribute to the public debate on such a relevant issue. Fides News Agency reported.

The text was presented at the headquarters of the Episcopal Conference of Uruguay (CEU) by the Secretary-General and spokesperson of CEU, Mgr. Milton Tróccoli, Bishop of Maldonado-Punta del Este-Minas, and by Mons. Pablo Jourdan, Auxiliary Bishop of Montevideo, doctor of Medicine. The Bishops reiterate that “it is not ethically acceptable to cause the death of a sick person, not even to avoid pain and suffering, even if the person expressly requires it. Neither the patient, nor the healthcare professional, nor family members have the power to decide or cause the death of a person … this action constitutes a type of murder carried out in a clinical context”. The document also stresses that “therapeutic obstinacy is not ethically acceptable, which consists in wanting to prolong the patient’s life at all costs, knowing that there are no benefits for the patient himself/herself”.

“Our society must support laws that prevent and discourage any type of euthanasia and assisted suicide”, stresses the Episcopal Conference, explaining that “legally, a project in favor of euthanasia and medically assisted suicide, implies the change of the absolute value of human life and its character as an inalienable fundamental human right, against the Constitution and human rights. “The door opens to a chain of violations of the dignity of the human person when trying to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide, using generic terms such as “unbearable suffering” and when you want to justify them with vague concepts such as “absolute autonomy”, “life unworthy of being lived” and “dignified death”. None of these terms have clear and univocal interpretations, reiterates the document, recalling that experience in other countries shows that it ends up causing several abuses.

The Bishops conclude the Declaration invoking the Most High to “enlighten the representatives of the People to legislate in the light of the dignity of the person and human rights” and “guide and give strength to the health personnel, communities, and Christian families so that they take care and respect the unconditional value of people who are approaching the end of life”.

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