.- Bishop Javier Chavolla of Toluca, Mexico, reacted to news this week of the possible legalization of euthanasia in that country, emphasizing the urgent need for laws based on “principles and values” that acknowledge that “human beings do not own anybody” and that “decisions about life cannot be made as if God did not exist.”
Making his comments as the bishops of Mexico were gathered for their annual assembly, Bishop Chavolla recalled that while the Church supports “dignified death” and shares the concern of the faithful regarding the spread of a culture of pain for pain’s sake, she couldn’t support proposed laws that would legalize euthanasia.
In a statement released by the Conference, the bishops clarified the “radical difference” between “conferring death” and “consenting to death,” as the former is “an act suppressing life” and the latter implies accepting suffering until death.
“Therefore we should not be confused about euthanasia, which is an action or an omission that has as its intention the procurement of the death of another person in order to spare him or her of pain or suffering,” they said.
Bishop Rodrigo Aguilar of Matehuala emphasized that a dignified death is one that “provides the patient sensitive and respectful treatment, truthful information and participation in the decisions that affect him or her, adequate control over pain and other symptoms, psychological and social support, as well as spiritual attention in accord with his or her beliefs.” Euthanasia, he added, as well as intense therapy that has no chance of contributing to the patient’s recovery, are “unacceptable for the Catholic Church.”