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Sterben in Würde

Zur Sterbehilfedebatte aus katholischer Perspektive

Gerhard Marschütz


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.