A representative of the Colombian bishops, Father Pedro Mercado Cepeda, has rejected recent efforts by a group of lawmakers to legalize euthanasia in the country.
“No circumstance can make it legally acceptable to intentionally cause the death of a human being. The right to life is constitutionally inviolable,” he wrote in column published by local newspaper El Espectador.
On Oct. 8, a senate committee in Colombia voted 10-4 to send a proposed measure to regulate euthanasia to the full Senate for consideration. If approved the measure would be sent to the Colombian House of Representatives for a vote.
Fr. Mercado – who serves as the associate secretary general for the Colombian bishops' Relations with the State department – noted that every human being aspires to happiness and well-being, and therefore has a “natural aversion” to experiencing pain and suffering in death.
“However, this natural rejection does not justify the taking of a human life. Life is good that must be protected by the State until its natural end,” he said.
Rather than “legislating the suppression of life,” congress should “promote conditions in our health care institutions that make the natural process of death a reality that corresponds to the dignity of all Colombians.”
This should be done first of all “through a deep reform of the health care sector, in which thousands of Colombians should be fighting more to live rather than to die,” he added.
“Secondly, by providing greater care to the chronically or terminally ill through subsidies and palliative care proper to their circumstances.”