Vatican City, Jun 10, 2016 / 13:13 pm
Physician-assisted suicide is part of a “throwaway culture” that offers a “false compassion” and treats a human person as a problem, Pope Francis told medical leaders on Thursday.
“True compassion does not marginalize anyone, nor does it humiliate and exclude – much less considers the disappearance of a person as a good thing,” the Pope said. He criticized “those who hide behind an alleged compassion to justify and approve the death of a patient.”
“You are well aware of the meaning of the triumph of selfishness, of this ‘throwaway culture’ that rejects and dismisses those who do not comply with certain canons of health, beauty and utility,” he said.
The Pope addressed the managers of the Medical Orders of Spain and Latin America in the Apostolic Palace on June 9.
According to Vatican Radio’s translation, he described compassion as “the just response to the immense value of the sick person.” This response is composed of respect, understanding and tenderness “so that the sacred value of the life of the patient does not disappear or become obscured, but instead shines with greater splendor precisely in suffering and helplessness.”
Compassion is a necessary part of the medical profession, Pope Francis stressed.
“The doctor’s identity and commitment depends not only on scientific knowledge and technical competence, but principally on the attitude of compassion and mercy towards those who suffer in body and spirit. Compassion does not mean pity, it means ‘suffering with’,” he said.
Technological and individualistic culture does not always consider compassion well, he said. It even disdains it and regards it as humiliation.