Monday, February 05, 2007

Cardinal Martini and Euthanasia

After having cared for a seriously ill person, suddenly this conversation takes on a completely new hue. No, I do not believe that euthanasia is "good death." However, I need to study what Cardinal Martini is talking about a little more closely. In this newsletter Sandro Magister gives the background to a recent flap in Italy over the remarks of Cardinal Martini, the Archbishop emeritus of Milan on a controversial case involving a terminally ill patient who refused water and food, and thereby committed suicide. He was refused a Catholic burial, and the case caused a huge sensation.
For the former archbishop of Milan, the seriously ill person has at every moment the right to interrupt the care that keeps him alive. No, objects the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life. But the real clash is between Martini and the pope.
[As an aside, the idea of voluntary suicide isn't just something thrown up by a modern culture divorced from traditional roots. Some ancient religious traditions propose similar paths, for instance "santharo" in Jainism. Clearly, these are understood as spiritual ends, and not stepping stones to the widespread acceptance of euthanasia.]

No comments: