At the conclusion of their Plenary Assembly at the Shrine of Fatima, the bishops of Portugal stated that any form of euthanasia, or any “action or omission that, by its nature or intentions, provokes death,” is unacceptable.
In response to efforts to promote euthanasia in Portugal, the bishops issued a pastoral letter entitled, “Caring For Life Until Death.” “Nobody is the absolute owner of his or her own life and much less of the lives of others. Therefore,” they said, “assisted suicide of any kind is ethically equivalent to euthanasia.”
The prelates stressed that palliative care and attention are the best answers to alleviating suffering, but noted that it is ethically permissible to avoid extraordinary measures of care.
The legalization of euthanasia or assisted suicide would inevitably lead to pressure on those whose health is not up to society’s standards, “making them feel like an unwanted burden or inconvenience,” the bishops stated.