Vatican Newspaper Says Euthanasia Undermines Democracy

VATICAN, Nov 21, 01 ( - Laws that allow euthanasia undermine the very basis of democracy, since they fail to recognize the intrinsic dignity of human life. That was the argument presented in an article published today in the official Vatican newspaper.

Father Gino Concetti, the theologian who contributes regularly to L'Osservatore Romano, said: "The dignity of the human person, defended in international declarations and in the constitutions of democratic states, is today contradicted by new cultural trends that follow individualistic and hedonistic criteria," he said.

Father Concetti argued that democratic regimes are casting their own basic laws in question when they "affirm the dignity and thus the inviolability of the person in general terms, but not absolute terms." In particular, he pointed out, some such governments maintain a contradictory stance in which the "objective right" of each individual is juxtaposed with the "subjective interest" of those practicing euthanasia.

"The juridical and medical culture that defends the primacy of the person can not accept this macabre tendency," the article in L'Osservatore Romano said. Pointing out that Holland and Belgium have already passed legislation allowing euthanasia-- and thus undermined their own constitutions-- Father Concetti asked, "Will other nations resist the trend?"

Catholic World News Service - Daily News Briefs
21. november 2001