Catholic Doctors of Italy Issue Statement "Doctors cannot be assigned the task of causing or causing death." FULL TEXT on Euthanasia

Amci Release: Among the many problems of the "end of life", those concerning the renunciation / refusal of treatment, medically assisted suicide and euthanasia emerge: controversial issues and complex chapters that concern unavoidable existential aspects of each person.

While a euthanasia culture is mounting in the country, ennobled at the same time by freedom and piety, a heated debate opens up on the delicate issues that concern not only the conditions of a weak life but also many other human, family, cultural, political, legal, ethical problems. ethical and legislative.

Some begin to distinguish between "life" and "non-life", between "worthy" and "not worthy", between "dying with dignity" and "dying without dignity", thus labeling many conditions of life with subjective and arbitrary judgments fragile.

We recognize that the request for assisted suicide or euthanasia often arises from the refusal to continue living in conditions of precariousness and severe suffering, but we should be very careful not to easily accept the inhuman out of pity, the reasonable inhuman out of compassion.

It is right to recognize freedom and self-determination to all people, but this recognition must not and cannot conflict with freedom, ethics and above all with the doctor's conscience.

A worthy death must be ensured for everyone: this is an essential principle of healing and this action, which has an objective value, cannot find shortcuts with respect to practices of support and accompaniment of the sick in the last stages of his life.

We firmly believe that assisted suicide and euthanasia cannot be included among the professional and ethical duties of the doctor. These therapeutic options are not possible or practicable in the doctor-patient alliance and in the relationship of care and trust: the doctor would find himself in moral conflict with himself, especially if his activities were merely technical performances without human and ethical value.

All Catholic doctors represent the absolute incompatibility between medical action and killing, because those who practice the difficult medical art cannot choose to let people die or even to make them live at any cost, against all reasonable logic.

The patient's suffering cannot be eliminated at the expense of the good of life.

In the process of dying the action of the doctor must be of accompaniment, of empathy, of human proximity, of professional commitment, certainly always renouncing disproportionate or extraordinary, useless, futile and burdensome therapies.

Catholic doctors reiterate the need and urgency to implement throughout the national territory the great potential of Law 38/2010 'provisions to guarantee access to palliative care and "pain therapy" and that this must be done in a homogeneous way and universalistic. They underline the importance of these treatments and the need to keep the terminally ill in an existential path, substantiated to the maximum by human and emotional relationships.

They have the obligation to indicate the proportionality of the treatments having a careful look at the natural history of the disease.

They still have the obligation to conduct adequate, effective, complete pain therapies and palliative care without apodictically excluding deep palliative sedations and without ever causing acts of abandonment, removal or absence of care.

In order to avoid any misunderstanding or doubt, Catholic doctors reaffirm their stable and unchanged position as required by a value ethic, which they believe to be right, in the belief that it is a serious impediment for them, to administer drugs with euthanasia purposes or to indulge suicidal wishes. .

Doctors cannot be assigned the task of causing or causing death.

The purpose of medicine does not correspond to this need but is undoubtedly founded on curing and restoring health, alleviating pain and suffering, ensuring the highest quality of life, especially when it is no longer possible to heal, but it can still be cured.

Those who practice the difficult medical art cannot choose between letting them live or letting them die ... and the doctor has no alternatives: the only option they can exercise is, always and in any case, for life and in favor of life, because it is his conscience that demands it from him and his profession that obliges him to do so.

The introduction of the decriminalization of specific euthanasia actions in our legal system does not excite doctors, on the contrary, it is believed that it can compromise the very foundations of democracy and the common good and alter the principles of solidarity and justice to be reserved for the most fragile people. . We insist that the state never deny forms of assistance and protection to the chronically ill, the elderly, the disabled, the mentally ill, etc., by supporting forms of social euthanasia or selection of the frail and the weak.

Catholic doctors believe that the entire problem of the end of life with all its human, personal and family, ethical and juridical, political and legislative aspects, certainly represents at the present time an opportunity for dialogue, comparison, improvement of care towards the eubiosia (opposite of euthanasia), that is, good life, a real challenge for a renewed humanism of care, to be reaffirmed by enhancing that admirable personal and professional, scientific and human commitment, which has always distinguished medical action in the daily fight against disease and the never sufficiently understood dignity of life.

In the case of an inherently unjust law, the doctor will always have the duty to obey his professional conscience.

 Rome, 18.1.22

                                                                      The National President

                                                                 Prof. Filippo M. Boscia

FULL TEXT Release (Translation from Italian) :

(An  association of Catholic doctors in Italy)