Catholic Church in Argentina Opposes Legalization of Euthanasia
The Committee for Life, the Laity, and the Family of the Argentine Bishops’ Conference said the country is facing ‘a new manifestation of the culture of death and the throwaway culture.’
The Committee for Life, the Laity, and the Family of the Argentine Bishops’ Conference expressed its opposition to four bills introduced in the Argentina Congress to legalize euthanasia. The committee said the country is facing “a new manifestation of the culture of death and the throwaway culture.”
In an Aug. 18 statement, the committee said that “the Gospel commits us not to be indifferent in the face of discussions on the beginning and end of life.”
There are currently four bills to legalize euthanasia: two introduced last year and two this year.
In its statement, the Church in Argentina warned that “we are facing a new manifestation of the culture of death and the throwaway culture”; and at the same time, “we are a people that wants such important needs as health, work, housing, and land” to be taken care of.
“Although a society cannot eliminate suffering, it can always commit itself with all its energies to the lives of those who suffer,” the committee said, noting that Argentina “has a rich history of doing so,” with multiple alternatives “to accompany physical and spiritual pain with science and humanity.”
“In the hospices and in the cottolengos (homes for the physically and mentally disabled), we see a great example of this,” the committee said.
In its statement, the Committee for Life, the Laity, and the Family pointed out that “even in cases of diseases that have no cure, all patients must be cared for and accompanied so that their lives are respected until natural death. We are not the masters of life and therefore we place ourselves at its service.”
The bishops’ committee called for valuing “palliative and comprehensive care, which relieves pain in serious illness and helps those who suffer and bears much fruit in the human person and in their family.”
“It’s essential to accompany the anguish of those who suffer, their physical and spiritual pain. The domain of medicine is to cure, but also to alleviate and humanize the process of death. Taking life is not a way to alleviate suffering. Caring for life and the work of serving it at all times is our mission, each one from his place of commitment and testimony of faith,” the committee stated.
The committee said that “all life has value” and recalled that the country is coming out of “a pandemic where we have seen and see health care personnel shouldering the pain and suffering of so many men and women, sick and dying. We have heard them weep at the loss of a life for which they tirelessly gave their all.”
The committee concluded: “Out of respect for the life that comes to us from God and that we’re not the masters of, out of consideration for so many people who have committed themselves to caring for life as health care personnel, [and] out of respect for those who are not here and have died these recent years, we ask God that in our beloved homeland no room is given for laws that leave those who suffer the most on the side of the road and exclude them.”
This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.
- dignity of human life