Cardinal deplores passage of euthanasia bill by Uruguayan House of Representatives

Euthanasia_Medical_syringe_Credit_sfam_photo_Shutterstock_CNA Credit: sfam_photo/Shutterstock.

Cardinal Daniel Sturla, the archbishop of Montevideo, Uruguay, criticized the passage of a bill to legalize and regulate euthanasia in the country’s lower house.

“A clear setback in the recognition of the dignity of all human life has just won the votes of the majority of representatives. The throwaway culture and the culture of death advance,” Sturla tweeted after the vote in the House of Representatives.

The House passed the bill Oct. 6 by a vote of 57 to 39. Now it must be debated and voted on in the Senate in the coming weeks.

The bill’s text states that the law seeks to “regulate and guarantee the right of persons to go through the process of dying with dignity in the circumstances determined by the person.”

Only adults who are “psychologically fit” and who suffer from “one or more pathologies or chronic, incurable, and irreversible health conditions” qualify for euthanasia.

In an interview with Telemundo, Sturla said that there is concern in the Vatican about this bill.

“I think there is a concern in the Secretariat of State. At that time it had not yet been passed; I will return to Rome this weekend and perhaps there will be some other commentary they will give me,” he said.

The cardinal called the bill “lamentable” and trusts that “there may be room in the Senate for further reflection.”

“Hopefully, caring for life takes precedence a little more,” he stressed.

The archbishop of Montevideo also pointed out that the Senate should vote in favor of the bill on palliative care, which has already passed in the House of Representatives.

“That’s how we can take care of people in critical situations. We can treat them to have their last days without pain, with dignity, accompanied. Don’t make people feel that they’re a burden, a weight. With love and respect until the last moment,” he said.

“The mistake is to believe that those of us who are against it want people to suffer. No, that’s what palliative care is for,” he added.

Finally, the cardinal said that if the euthanasia bill were to be approved “with all his soul” he would like President Luis Lacalle Pou to veto it.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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