During the debate in 1995-7 over the Northern Territory's temporary legalization of euthanasia, the Australian Medical Association was a major factor in convincing the nation's parliament to reverse the law.
"We call on Catholics, and on all persons of good will, to reject proposals to legalize euthanasia. We urge families to discuss issues surrounding the care of terminally ill loved ones in light of sound moral principles and the demands of human dignity, so that patients need not feel helpless or abandoned in the face of complex decisions about their future. And we urge health care professionals, legislators and all involved in this debate to seek solutions to the problems of terminally ill patients and their families that respect the inherent worth of all human beings, especially those most in need of our love and assistance."
"Those who advocate euthanasia have capitalized on people's confusion, ambivalence, and even fear about the use of modern life-prolonging technologies. Further, borrowing language from the abortion debate, they insist that the "right to choose" must prevail over all other considerations. Being able to choose the time and manner of one's death, without regard to what is chosen, is presented as the ultimate freedom. A decision to take one's life or to allow a physician to kill a suffering patient, however, is very different from a decision to refuse extraordinary or disproportionately burdensome treatment.
Some years ago, the winner of a Pro-Life Essay Contest sponsored by the Archdiocese of New York was Anne Marie O'Halloran, from Maria Regina High School in Hartsdale. Her topic was euthanasia. Let me share with you some of her own words:
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The type of euthanasia, which is presently under debate, is called "active euthanasia" and is defined as an act performed by an individual to bring about the death of another person....
Ontario, Canada has passed a law formally legalizing lethal injection euthanasia. D it will force all provincial doctors to be complicit by either doing the deed. essays on euthanasia for and against
"Our tradition, declaring a moral obligation to care for our own life and health and to seek such care from others, recognizes that we are not morally obligated to use all available medical procedures in every set of circumstances. But that tradition clearly and strongly affirms that as a responsible steward of life one must never directly intend to cause one's own death, or the death of an innocent victim, by action or omission. As the Second Vatican Council declared, "Euthanasia and willful suicide" are "offenses against life itself" which "poison civilization"; they "debase the perpetrators more than the victims and militate against the honor of the Creator" (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, No. 27)."