In a recent article published by the L’Osservatore Romano entitled, “For an examination of conscience,” reporter Lucetta Scaraffia explained that fear of suffering in today’s world is the “motor” that drives the promoters of euthanasia. In response, Catholics should lay out principles that reasonably address the questioning that emerges from such fears, she said.
Scaraffia’s comments came in response to the case of Eluana Englaro, a 37 year-old Italian woman condemned to undergo euthanasia by the Italian Supreme Court, which has ruled in favor of her father’s request to have her food and hydration withdrawn to cause her death.
She charged that the court was showing mercy, “not for the suffering of Eluana—who doctors swear can no longer feel a thing and will not realize she is going to die of hunger and thirst!—but rather for that of her father. As if the father, with the death of his daughter, will no longer suffer. And this is the paradox to which nobody has found a reason to object.”
“The fear of suffering constitutes the motor that drives all of the bad decisions about end-of-life interventions: those who promote euthanasia by pushing for a future without suffering know it,” Scaraffia warned, underscoring that the meaning of suffering, “which only Christianity knows how to confront,” is the reason why “everything must be done to stop this kind of situation for happening again.”
Catholic tradition, she noted, “offers clear and precise guidance on how to make a decision in these complex circumstances: the value of human life from the moment of conception to natural death, no matter in what conditions it is lived, even if the cases to be confronted are constantly changing, making them more complicated and unprecedented.”