Q. 1. What is the position of the Catholic Church regarding assisted suicide?
A. 1. In a few words, anyone, be it relatives, doctors or nurses, who participate in assisted suicide, they commit murder contrary to the Fifth Commandment of God that states, "Thou shall not murder."
The position of the Catholic Church on physician assisted suicide is in harmony with the statement of the American Medical Association that states:
Let it be remembered that the obligation of those (doctors and nurses) who have a calling in the medical field is to save (and preserve) lives. It is not to murder (and terminate) lives!
“It is understandable, though tragic, that some patients in extreme duress, such as those suffering from a terminal, painful, debilitating illness--may come to decide that death is preferable to life. However, allowing physicians to participate in assisted suicide would cause more harm than good. Physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks."
"Instead of participating in assisted suicide, physicians must aggressively respond to the needs of patients at the end of life. Patients should not be abandoned once it is determined that cure is impossible. Multidisciplinary interventions should be sought including specialty consultation, hospice care, pastoral support, family counseling, and other modalities. Patients near the end of life must continue to receive emotional support, comfort care, adequate pain control, respect for patient autonomy, and good communication."