Mexican bishops: life is a gift, no right to die

.- The Bishops Conference of Mexico issued a statement last week reiterating that life is a gift from God which man must protect and clarifying that the right to die does not exist, even “in situations of extreme suffering.”

The statement, released at the conclusion of the bishops’ General Assembly, maintains that “reason teaches us that each human being is a unique subject, the only creature in the entire universe able to be conscious of himself, to love and to be loved.”  This is an indication of man’s intrinsic value and inalienable rights, the bishops state, the first of which is the right to life.

Likewise, the bishops note that the Church recognizes that “each human being is the fruit of God’s call to life,” who loves him from all of eternity, even apart from his moral situation.

This awareness of true love and of man, the statement explains, has led the Church to develop all kinds of works that favor and defend the dignity of human life.  In addition, the Church encourages that science be at the service of man rather than making him an instrument to be used in improving the health of some “at the cost of the deaths of unborn children or the terminally ill.”

“The right to die does not exist! Nobody gives himself life! One receives it as a gift that is given!  By his social nature man knows that such a gift is not only for himself, but rather for others as well,” the bishops note.

“Each human being has the right and the duty to conserve life,” both one’s own and that of others, the bishops state, and life is not at one’s arbitrary disposal.  “Today there are innumerable measures” to lessen physical pain and in extreme cases, “we must seek the improvement of palliative care,” they explained.

The bishops called on scientists and health care professionals to commit to protecting human life and on politicians to legislate based on an “integral humanism” that leads to “a new social, economic and political order.”

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