In response to repeated questions by reporters during his visit to Monterrey, Mexico, Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care, explained his position on the case of Eluana Englaro, the Italian woman who died after her family members requested her feeding tubes be removed.
"I said it then and I repeat now: whoever kills an innocent person is a murderer. Whoever does not kill is not. This is what I have always said," the cardinal told reporters who inquired about the lawsuit Englaro’s father has threatened to file against him.
During his visit to the University Hospital of Monterrey, Cardinal Lozano recalled that God has given a commandment "Thou shalt not kill."
He also pointed out that medicine should seek to cure the patient, and if that is not possible, it should work to alleviate the pain with "palliative care." This is essential because "death is a most crucial moment for a person and one should take that definitive step with as much consciousness as possible."
The cardinal noted that the Church does not support the use of extraordinary means in which "medicine or techniques…do not alleviate or cure and only prolong a difficult agony."
"No one is obliged to use disproportionate means instead of allowing nature to take its course," Cardinal Lozano said, pointing out however that this was not the case with Eluana Englaro
"Eluana was not ill with anything. Therapeutic care does not include food or water. To deny water or nutrition to a patient is to condemn them to a terrible death by thirst and starvation," he explained.