The document said that Catholic priests and others should avoid any active or passive gesure which might signal approval for euthanasia and assisted suicide, including remaining in a room while the act is performed.
But to someone who is considering taking that action, the presence of a witness to truth, charity, and hope can be powerful, Ladaria said.
"The witness of Christians, the witness of Christian healthcare workers, the witness of all the Christian relatives of this person, etc. can be something very determinative" in helping a person to turn away from the decision to end his or her own life, he said.
Ladaria encouraged offering a "witness of presence" to those who were seriously ill and dying.
When a person sees no other hope than assisted suicide, "if he sees someone who clearly does not accept this solution, but is there beside him, and does not abandon him, and is next to him, maybe this can be a factor which helps him to reflect," he said.
"I believe that in every man there is some reserve of hope," the cardinal stated. Communicating the truth with charity, being present to someone who feels hopeless, could help them to think and reflect, it "makes this person see that there is, however, hope, there is hope. That hope never ends!"
Priestly ministry to the sick at the end of life, a symbol of the solicitude of Christ and the Church, "can and must have a decisive role," and makes proper priestly formation vital in this area, Samaritanus bonus said. It also noted that because priests cannot always be present at a bedside, physicians and healthcare workers need formation in Christian accompaniment too.
"In this essential mission it is extremely important to bear witness to and unite truth and charity with which the gaze of the Good Shepherd never ceases to accompany all of His children," it stated.