Vatican has said that those who choose euthanasia as way of relieving their suffering from any terminal ailment are unworthy of any Sacrament of the Church. The Holy Father, Pope Francis in his statement during his meeting with the Heads of the Spanish Bishops’ Conference express concern over a new bill to legalize euthanasia, put forward to Spain’s Senate, and published in the Vatican Letter of September, 22 2020 said such practices take the place of God in deciding the moment of death. As several countries throughout Europe move toward broadening access to euthanasia, the Vatican released a new document reaffirming its teaching on medically assisted death, insisting that it is ‘poisonous’ to society and stressed that those who choose it are unable to access the sacraments unless they reverse their decision. Published September 22, the document, entitled, “Samaritanus bonus: The care of persons in the critical and terminal phases of life,” was signed by the Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Luis Ladaria, and its secretary, Archbishop Giacomo Morandi
To end the life of a sick person who requests euthanasia, the document said, “is by no means to acknowledge and respect their autonomy,” but rather disavows “both their freedom, now under the sway of suffering and illness, and of their life by excluding any further possibility of human relationship, of sensing the meaning of their existence.” “Moreover, it is to take the place of God in deciding the moment of death,” it said, adding that it is for this reason that “abortion, euthanasia and willful self-destruction poison human society” and “do more harm to those who practice them than those who suffer from the injury.” In simple terms, euthanasia is the practice of intentionally ending a person’s life to relieve him or her of further pain and suffering.
It is commonly known as ‘Mercy killing’. The term euthanasia is of Greek origin meaning “Easy Death”. Though some countries are agitating for the legalization of euthanasia, it is against the law in the United Kingdom where it is illegal to help anyone to terminate their lives. There are a lot of arguments based on practical issues. Some people think that euthanasia should not be allowed, even if it is morally right or wrong because it could be abused and used to cover for murder while others think otherwise. UCHECHUKWU AKWUOBI sampled the opinions of the clergy, medical practitioners and lay faithful.
“Life is sacred. It belongs to God. Nobody has the right to take another person’s life no matter how much the person is suffering. Euthanasia can never be justified in way. Euthanasia is also called assisted suicide. There is no moral difference between killing someone and helping someone to kill himself.” Rev. Fr. Francis Anyanwu, Parish Priest, St. Ferdinand Catholic Church Ipaja
“Well, not legal in Nigeria as it contradicts one of the fundamental human rights in Nigeria, “right to life,” which is the most important right. This is the most important right of every Nigerian (and in fact every human being). The right that everyone has to ‘exist’, and no one can intentionally deprive a person of this right, either an individual or the Government, unless in the execution of a sentence of the court in respect of a criminal offence. In a nutshell, what this right says is that no one can take your life unless you have carried out a capital crime, you have been tried by a competent court.” Rita Ndubueze, Practicing Nurse
I t is very immoral. Who are you to take someone’s life? The only thing you can do is to counsel the patient and the family, believing that miracle can happen at any time. It is never right or acceptable. Yes, people maybe complaining of the bills but you have to keep looking for money. We have a lot of people who are battling cancer and other different kinds of sicknesses but still living. Prayer and faith are the keys here, people should learn how to pray always especially in very critical conditions; with prayers all things are possible.” Dr. Emmanuel Teddy Aipoh, Medical Doctor
“It is not right to end anybody’s life no matter the circumstances because the Bible said categorically in the Ten Commandments “ Thou shall not kill”. There were no conditions attached. It cannot be justified in anyway please. As children of God, we believe in miracles and that God can decide to heal that person even at that point. So, what we should do for such person is to keep praying for divine intervention and not to consider terminating life. To me, it’s the same thing. To kill or to help somebody to die both result to death. The power to give or to take away life belongs to God and not to man.” Mrs. Chinwe Nwune FNIM FITEL, CMP