Each month the team working on this catechism presents you with two texts,
and we hope that with your help and cooperation they will improve. Any suggestions
you may have would be most welcome, as would ideas on subject matter.
We look forward to hearing from you.
- Euthanasia raises especially delicate questions, about which law-makers
will no longer be able to escape. How to care and to help persons in order
that the last stage of their life remains worthy of human condition? What
help to give, what solidarity to develop, to allow them to continue to
live in the best conditions of every day living when they have to face
pain and degradation?
- But also which measures to take, in extreme cases, to protect the person
against those who, either from lassitude or from hankering after heritage
wish to hasten the end? Those who are responsible for the common good have
to face these diverse and multiple situations. Though the development of
palliative care is of considerable and well recognized help, more so if
performed at home as much as possible to avoid the person to be separated
from his own environment. However this does not abolish the most fundamental
question, to which we are all concerned: what is the meaning of our life?
- How to keep the desire and the taste to live even in harsh, painful
conditions, especially when our physical and/or mental health are deteriorating?
- Our society tends to privilege wealth, beauty, competitiveness which
breaks people, superficial successes.... to a point that we are tempted,
when the burden is too heavy , to think that life is not any more worth
to keep. But, what gives a meaning to life, what makes it worth living,
what makes it stimulating to relate with oneself and with the others? Human
beings keep all their value and deep truth, even when health deteriorates,
when strength breaks down.
- The question of utmost importance raised by euthanasia is then the
meaning of life, a life worth living again, the happiness to be alive.
Human searches and religious views can be complementary and
- enrich themselves. Yet, some people, in full awareness and responsibility,
consider that their life is too difficult to carry on, as much for them
as it is for their nearest and dearest ones. Should we condemn them, should
we forbid them to make an end to their life? Facing these interdicts, are
they going to have again a taste for life and give back a meaning to their
- Sure, Society has to take many measures to stop abuse and unwanted
interference into other people's life's. But the crucifying question is
still there: can a human being take the responsibility about the way he
is going to terminate his life on earth and to have access to his death?
Is it in opposition to our faith in God, to His tenderness for every one
of us, to the respect for life He gave to us, to the right use of a responsible
liberty which was given to us?
- Knowing that one day, if one finds oneself in a state of illness or
in such a very low physical or mental state particularly difficult to stand,
one still will have the possibility and the right to end one's
- life, is one going to lose interest in life and to carelessly turn
to that solution? On the contrary one can think, acknowledging this possibility,
the person will have more desire to live, even painfully, not because he
is forced into but by choice and by personal decision. Liberty is this
extraordinary ability to take action in an autonomous and committed way.
- Desire for living, clinging to life and to others through invigorating
relationships, are not going to be promoted by legal, moral or religious
interdicts. On the contrary, dead set against these interdicts, many will
only be subjected to the ultimate phase of their life, but if they are
looking toward a responsible liberty fully supporting others, they will
be more able to make it a valuable life experience.
- Can we not foresee that this person will be able to chose to carry
on living, in spite of the limits and the ordeal he is facing, giving more
meaning and a personal value to this ultimate part of his life?
- These different questions require an open debate to which every body
is invited to participate.