Statement opposes euthanasia: "Always to Care, Never to Kill" PDF Print E-mail

Statement opposes euthanasia:
"Always to Care, Never to Kill"
Reprinted from Presbyterians Pro-Life NEWS, Winter 1993

A broad spectrum of Judeo-Christian heritage was expressed in a recent ecumenical statement of counsel on euthanasia. It says, in part:

Life, however, is not simply a 'good' that we possess. We are living beings. Our life is our person. To treat our life as a 'thing' that we can authorize another to terminate is profoundly dehumanizing. Euthanasia, even when requested by the competent, can never be a humanitarian act, for it attacks the distinctiveness and limitations of being human. 

By using the sources of wisdom available to us, say the writers,

 …we can find our way back to a firmer understanding of the limits of human responsibility, and of the imperative to embrace compassionately those who suffer from illness and the fears associated with the end of life. Guided by this wisdom, we will not presume to eliminate a fellow human being, nor need we fear being abandoned in our suffering. The compact of rights, duties, and mutual trust that makes human community possible depends upon our continuing adherence to the precept, Always to care, never to kill.

The complete statement appeared first in the February 1992 issue First Things, and since has appeared in a number of other publications. Interested readers can request a copy of the full statement from The Institute on Religion and Public Life, 156 Fifth Ave., Suite 400, New York, NY 10010.



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