Zur Sterbehilfedebatte aus katholischer Perspektive
To die in dignity is often understood as a personal right to independently determine the time and the way of one’s own death, assuming dignity as a quality of life that wouldn’t exist in serious illness or in the final stage of life. On the contrary and from a traditional point of view dignity belongs to a person’s being that can never get lost and hence has to be respected also at the end of life. For that reason, from a catholic point of view a voluntary euthanasia as a deliberate killing of a person is definitely rejected. However, a so-called ‘aggressive medical treatment’ must be avoided because it doesn’t accept the actual situation of death and only causes a pointless extension of life. Nevertheless, the palliative care is essential to provide people even in their final lifetime with quality of life and to help them with the personal acceptance of death.
Basil (1839) Basilii Caesareae Capadociae Archiepiscopi Epistolae 188, 199, 217. In Opera omnia, opera et studio Monachorum Ordinis Sancti Benedicti e Congregatione Sancti Mauri, editio Parisina altera, emmendata et aucta, tomus tertius, Parisiis.
Caesarius of Arles (1865) Homilia XIII. In Migne JP (ed) Patrologia Cursus Completus (Series Latina), PL volume 67, Paris.
***** (1975) Canones Hibernenses, II. De arreis (of commutations). In Bieler L (ed/trans) The Irish Penitentials, Scriptores Latini