Vatican : “Assisted suicide is an absurdity”
Vatican : “Assisted suicide is an absurdity”

Vatican : “Assisted suicide is an absurdity”

A Vatican bioethics official has condemned the death by assisted suicide of American Brittany Maynard, a terminally ill 29-year-old who ended her life over the weekend, as an undignified “absurdity”.

Monsignor Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, the head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said the gesture was “reprehensible”.

“Dignity is something other than putting an end to one’s own life,” he told the Italian news agency ANSA.

Ms Maynard on Saturday swallowed lethal drugs made available under Oregon’s doctor-assisted suicide law.

She was diagnosed with brain cancer on New Year’s Day and was later told she had six months to live.

She said she planned to take prescribed medication to die when her pain became unbearable.

“Brittany Maynard’s act is in itself reprehensible, but what happened in the consciousness we do not know,” Monsignor Carrasco de Paula said.

He cautioned that he was not judging individuals “but the gesture in and of itself should be condemned”.

The Vatican is opposed to suicide.

Ms Maynard’s story moved the nation.

She and her husband moved from the San Francisco Bay area to Oregon this year to take advantage of the state’s law that allows terminally ill residents to end their lives with the assistance of a physician.

Working with the advocacy group Compassion & Choices, she campaigned to raise awareness of the issue in the hope of spurring change across America.

Before dying, she tried to live as full a life as she could. She and her husband took a trip to the Grand Canyon last month – fulfilling a wish on Ms Maynard’s “bucket list”.

But some criticised her choice to take her own life.

Opponents of assisted suicide say some people who are ill, especially among the elderly, might be unduly influenced by people close to them to end their lives and that other ways exist to ease the suffering of the terminally ill.


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