Tuesday, January 30, 2007

When life stops

Saint Martina

Sandro Magister has an article out putting in context of his past statements Carlo Maria Cardinal Martini's comments from January 21. In those comments in a leading Italian newspaper, the cardinal proposed that as Magister summarizes, "the seriously ill person has at every moment the right to interrupt the care that keeps him alive."

It's a long back-and-forth of statements and counter-statements with the Welby case in Italy at their center. Be sure to read the entire article. A few of them stuck out. Bolding is mine:

This set of norms – the cardinal clarifies – need not imply “in any way the legalization of euthanasia.” The objective is “difficult, but not impossible: they tell me that, for example, the recent French law in this matter seems to have struck a balance that, if not perfect, is at least able to realize a sufficient consensus in a pluralistic society.”

[Bishop Giuseppe Betori, secretary general of the Italian bishops’ conference] “On a topic like this, politics wants to make too many laws. It seems to me that there is a desire to strip the doctor’s role and assign decision-making instead to the will of the person, who is then influenced by very clear ideological pressures.”

Returning to the Welby case, the paradox is that while cardinal Martini declines to see this as an act of euthanasia, it has been defined as such a number of times by Welby’s relatives and by the supporters of the legalization of euthanasia in Italy. The most prominent of these, professor Umberto Veronesi, an oncologist of worldwide fame, defined it in a parliament hearing, without mincing words, as “a suicide.”

No comments: