True compassion does not kill

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To the editor,

Regarding the CP article “Quebec panel panel recommends allowing physician-assisted suicide” January 15, 2013.

The new Quebec panel recommendations on medically assisted deaths still constitute premeditated murder by the attending physicians and suicide by the patient.

Our present culture tends to consider suffering the epitome of evil. In such a culture there is a great temptation to resolve the problem of suffering by eliminating it at the root, by hastening death so that it occurs at the moment considered most suitable.

In Christian teaching, however, suffering, has a special place in God’s saving plan; it is in fact a sharing in Christ’s passion.

Intentionally causing one’s own death, or suicide, is a rejection of God’s sovereignty and loving plan. It is a refusal of love for self, the denial of a natural instinct to live, a flight from the duties of justice and charity owed to one's neighbour and to society.

The pleas of the gravely ill who sometimes request death should not be understood as implying a true desire for euthanasia; in fact, it is almost always a case of an anguished plea for help and love. True compassion leads to sharing another’s pain; it does not kill the person whose suffering we cannot bear. What any sick person needs, besides medical care, is love – the human and supernatural warmth provided by those close to him such as family, nurses and doctors.

Unfortunately, there exists in contemporary culture a certain Promethean attitude which leads people to think that they can control life and death by taking the decisions about them into their own hands. What really happens in this case is that the individual is overcome and crushed by a death deprived of any prospect of meaning or hope.

Euthanasia is senseless and inhumane and should be opposed in all its forms.

Paul Kokoski

Hamilton, Ont.

Organizations: CP

Geographic location: Quebec

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