Paper praises euthanasia protest doctor

Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano has praised an Italian doctor who resigned from the Italian College of Physicians after his colleagues failed to discipline an anaesthetist who unplugged a patient's respirator, ending his life.

LifeSiteNews reports that Dr Stefano Ojetti resigned from his position as adviser to the College after his colleagues decided not to take disciplinary action against Dr Mario Riccio, an anesthetist who acted against orders in unplugging Peirgiorgio Welby's respirator, ending Welby's life.

Severely disabled, pro-euthanasia activist Welby had publicly petitioned for aid in ending his life, unleashing a national debate on the legalisation of euthanasia.

In his letter of resignation Dr Ojetti said every eugenic act was openly against the Hippocratic Oath to "do no harm" and the code of medical ethics. He described the death of Welby as a "sad and dark page in the history of our medicine."

L'Osservatore Romano, commenting on Dr Ojetti's decision, said, "Ojetti's gesture merits the highest consideration and has exemplary value for those who exercise the medical profession."

"At the same time, it is a duty to add a word of encouragement for those, within the decision-making organisation of the College of Physicians, who continue their battle in defence of life, a value that is extremely attacked today," the Vatican newspaper said.

The L'Osservatore Romano article followed an international congress at the Pontifical Academy for Life last month on "Christian Conscience in Support of the Right to Life" which included an address by Sydney Bishop Anthony Fisher.

Doctor's Resignation over Euthanasia Gets Praise in Vatican Newspaper (Lifesite, 6/3/077)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
L'Osservatore Romano

Conscience more than a GPS: Bishop Fisher (CathNews, 21/2/07)
Pope begs Dutch authorities to rethink mercy killing of babies (CathNews, 25/1/05)
Pope says euthanasia distorts medical ethics (CathNews, 15/11/04)

7 Mar 2007