But they stressed that the law should make it clearer that private organizations are free to “neither to offer nor condone assisted suicide in their homes.”
The bishops noted that in a detailed statement on the draft law in June they called for a constitutional ban on voluntary euthanasia, known in Austria as “Tötung auf Verlangen” (“killing on request.”)
“So far, there has been support for this among all the relevant political and social forces, including the medical profession,” they said.
The bishops lamented what they called “a dangerous shift in values” signaled by the use of the phrase “dying with dignity” by assisted suicide advocates.
“This manipulative speech not only ignores the fact that every suicide remains a human tragedy,” they said.
“It also does an injustice to all those who have so far made it possible to die with dignity through reliable and attentive care and who will continue to do so in the future, whether in the family environment, in hospitals, in hospice facilities, or in the many nursing and residential homes in our country.”
The bishops concluded their message by welcoming the expansion of hospice and palliative care in Austria.
“There must be a legal entitlement to them and the necessary funding must be ensured in a timely manner,” they said.
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