Bishop Bernard Ginoux of Montauban, France has noted that opposition to euthanasia is not unique to the Christian faith.
The French Senate recently voted 170-142 against a bill legalizing euthanasia. Bishop Ginoux reflected on the results, saying, “We are dealing with human beings and the respect for every human life. No one can deliberately kill.”
“Whenever the law allows for killing, it is granting human beings an absolute power over others, those who are the weakest and most defenseless. The fact that it is done by a team in a hospital, even if they are specialists, doesn’t change anything.
“Medicine is supposed to cure, and those who cure must not become assassins,” the bishop said in remarks to the French daily La Croix on Jan. 25.
Bishop Ginoux recalled his service at various hospitals, remarking that there are “very few people who really ask to die.”
Palliative care and compassion by those providing care helps patients realize that life is no longer so unbearable, he added.
“To say that the programmed death of someone considered ‘unfit’ to live because of his physical or psychiatric state is a crime is not something unique to the Christian faith,” the bishop said.
“The dignity of every human being is intangible and unchangeable. To overlook that is to fall into barbarism,” he said.