Swiss Bishop: No Last Rites for Assisted Suicides

by Church Militant  •  •  December 9, 2016   

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CHUR, Switzerland ( - A Swiss bishop is instructing priests not to give last rites to those committing assisted suicide.

"The readiness of a suffering patient to commit suicide with help from a bystander places any priest in an impossible situation if called to administer sacraments," said Bp. Vitus Huonder of Chur in a December 6 statement.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches:

Thus an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator. The error of judgment into which one can fall in good faith does not change the nature of this murderous act, which must always be forbidden and excluded.

As many as 999 physician-assisted murders were committed in Switzerland in 2015 alone.

Under Swiss law, assisted suicide has been legal since 1942 under article 115. Lethal drugs may be prescribed as long as the recipient takes an active role in the drug administration.

There has been a swath of new legislation across Western countries to make physician-assisted suicide accessible. In the United States alone, there are five states in which it is now legal: Oregon, Washington, California, Vermont and Montana. Currently considering physician assisted suicide is Washington, D.C.

Bishop Huonder continued in his statement, "[F]rom a Christian viewpoint, life and death are in God's hands — we do not decide about them for ourselves. Suicide, like murder, contradicts the divine world order."

Pope Francis recently commented on the rise of physician-assisted suicide. "Frailty, pain and infirmity are a difficult trial for everyone, including medical staff," he said. "They call for patience, for 'suffering-with.' Therefore, we must not give in to the functionalist temptation to apply rapid and drastic solutions, moved by false compassion or by mere criteria of efficiency or cost-effectiveness."

Physician-assisted suicide is touted by the liberal Left, which praises liberty over objective reality. A new film titled "Me Before You" promoted assisted suicide as an act of "love." The film based on the book by author Jojo Moye received criticism from the disabled community.

Moyes' "ignorance is allowed to promote the idea that people like me are better off dead," said John Kelly, member of the Not Dead Yet Resistance. "We are not 'burdens' whose best option is to commit suicide. No one's suicide should be treated as noble and inspirational. We reject this discrimination. Our suicides should be viewed as tragedies like anyone else's."


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