Vatican condemns Brittany Maynard suicide

A Vatican ethicist has condemned young American Brittany Maynard’s decision to end her life.

Msgr Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, who is head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said there was no dignity in her physician assisted death.

Ms Maynard, 29, took a lethal prescription provided by a doctor under Oregon state’s death-with-dignity law.

Earlier this year, she was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour and was given only months to live

She died on November 1.

“We don’t judge people, but the gesture in itself is to be condemned,” Msgr Carrasco de Paula told Italy’s ANSA news agency.

“Assisted suicide is an absurdity. Dignity is something different than putting an end to your own life,” he said.

Ms Maynard became a media sensation after a video she posted on YouTube announcing her decision was viewed 9.8 million times.

This made her an appealing young face for the right-to-die movement.

She worked closely with the advocacy group Compassion and Choices.

But Msgr Carrasco de Paula said: “Killing yourself is not a good thing; it’s a bad thing because it says no to life and to all that means in relation to our duty in the world and to those close to us.”

He added that assisted suicide was also dangerous because it offered a potential “solution” for a society that sought to abandon the sick and quit paying the costs of their illnesses.

In a final Facebook posting, Ms Maynard wrote: “Goodbye world. Spread good energy. Pay it forward!”

Only two days earlier, she released a video reconsidering the November 1 date she had set for her suicide.

She was still having good days with her family and friends, she said, and she wasn’t sure if it was yet the “right time”.

Janet Morana, executive director of the pro-life organisation Priests for Life, said: “Pray for Brittany for the repose of her soul, it’s in the hands of God right now.”

“Anything is possible with God. Don’t put limitations on what God can do.”


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