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What does the Church teach about euthanasia? Isn’t it an act of compassion for the suffering?

txt-euthanasia-usccbCatholic teaching recognizes the God-given dignity of every human life from conception to natural death. “We are obliged to accept life gratefully and preserve it for his honor and the salvation of our souls. We are stewards, not owners.

When members of the human family are at risk of being eliminated because public authorities regard them as financially or emotionally burdensome, we are called to proclaim their inestimable worth. In the autumn of life when those who are elderly, sick or dying are most tempted to fear being a burden to others, they are most in need of protection, care, and comfort.

Medicine plays a huge role in ensuring that the needs of the most vulnerable members of our society are met. Traditional hospice has been around for decades, and the rapidly developing field of palliative care—which provides pain relief, emotional support, and assistance meeting basic needs—has become increasingly available.

There is much more information about all aspects of Catholic living and the latest Catholic news at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.

© 2012 USCCB. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

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