More than a hundred French bishops have signed a statement opposing their country’s drift toward legal euthanasia.
At the end of meeting at the Marian shrine of Lourdes, 118 bishops – the overwhelming majority of the French bishops’ conference – declared that euthanasia would damage the sense of fraternity that held their society together.
They predicted that euthanasia would put pressure on the gravely ill, vulnerable and elderly to end their lives prematurely, and that it would corrupt medical ethics.
The bishops said euthanasia would give rise to “institutions specialising in death” similar to those seen in some neighbouring countries, such as Belgium and Switzerland, where euthanasia or assisted suicide is already legal.
To permit euthanasia, the bishops said, would be to “inscribe in the heart of our society the transgression of the civilising imperative: ‘You shall not kill.'”
“The signal sent out would be dramatic for all and, especially, for people of great fragility, who often torn by this question: ‘Am I not a burden for my family and for society?” they said.
Picture: Activists carry a banner stating “No to hidden euthanasia,” during a protest in Paris. More than a hundred French bishops have signed a statement opposing their country’s drift toward legal euthanasia. (CNS Photo/Etienne Laurent, EPA).