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What a Sick Person Needs, Besides Medical Care, is Love

Posted on May 09, 2023 in: Caregiver Spirituality

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."[283]

    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.]

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