Brisbane archbishop joins Euthanasia debate
In light of the renewed interest euthanasia sparked by the Nancy Crick case on the Gold Coast, Archbishop John Bathersby said yesterday that respect for human life is the very foundation of human civilisation.
"As soon as we argue for the deliberate termination of human life, whether we are discussing abortion, capital punishment, or euthanasia, even by our own hand, we diminish ourselves as a people and open the way for further erosion of our values," Archbishop Bathersby said.
Mrs Crick, who is dying from bowel cancer, has reignited the euthanasia debate as she makes her slow, painful death a public spectacle.
"Our moral heritage is based upon respect for each and every person including the inviolability of the life of each and every person," said Archbishop Bathersby. "Any erosion of that respect no matter how plausible it may seem or how emotionally charged the atmosphere may be
under the pressure of human suffering, seriously tampers with the very foundation of our civilisation."
He urged Catholics to realise the importance of the issue, and "do everything in their power to support traditional values which are needed today more than ever".
Meanwhile Pope John Paul II has said doctors should not always use medical science to prolong the lives of their patients. Instead, he said that educating people to a serene acceptance of death was part of a doctor's mission.
"Certainly one cannot forget that man is a mortal being," the Pope said. "There are limits that cannot be humanly surpassed in these cases one must accept one"s human condition with serenity, which the believer is able to interpret in the light of divine will."
Unafraid to die, scared to live Nancy states her case (The Age 27/3/02)
27 Mar 2002