‘What a sick person
needs, besides medical care, is love’
"The pleas of gravely ill persons who
sometimes ask for death are not to 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. What a sick person needs, besides
medical care, is love, the human and supernatural warmth with which
the sick person can and ought to be surrounded by those close to him
or her, parents and children, doctors and nurses."
The sick person who feels surrounded by a loving
human and Christian presence does not give way to depression and
anguish as would be the case if one were left to suffer and die alone
and wanting to be done with life. This is why euthanasia is a
defeat for the one who proposes it, decides it and carries it out.
Far from being an act of mercy to the patient, euthanasia is a gesture
of individual and social self-pity and an escape from an unbearable
situation. (No. 149)
From the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance’s
"Charter for Health Care Workers"
[Footnote 283: Cong. Doct. Faith, Declaration on Euthanasia,
May 5, 1980, in AAS 72 (1980) p. 546. Cf. John Paul II, To the
participants at the International Congress on Assistance to the Dying,
in Oss. Rom. March 18, 1992, nn. 3, 5.]