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Daily Catholic Question

What does the Church say about physician-assisted suicide?

Physicians and other caregivers have the obligation to maintain life and to relieve pain. These two duties, however, may come into conflict when caring for someone who is dying.

Proponents of physician-assisted suicide at times argue that their initiatives are the only way to protect the dying from severe and intractable pain. It is true, too, that public opinion polls reveal that many people who favor assisted suicide do so because they do not want to endure a physically painful death. Quite understandably, people want to make the last steps in life without pain.

It is important to point out that the effective treatment of pain guarantees that no one will suffer a painful death. Health-care providers must make every effort to ensure that the available medications to eliminate or control pain are provided to a patient.

From a moral perspective, a physician may responsibly administer medications to control or alleviate pain even when doing so may hasten death. The physician’s intention is not to kill the patient but to relieve pain effectively with the medicines available.

"True compassion leads to sharing another's pain; it does not kill the person whose suffering we cannot bear." --Pope John Paul II, The Gospel of Life, 66*

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Daily Catholic Question for 7/22/2014 Daily Catholic Question for 7/24/2014

Bridget: From age seven on, Bridget had visions of Christ crucified. Her visions formed the basis for her activity—always with the emphasis on charity rather than spiritual favors. 
<p>She lived her married life in the court of the Swedish king Magnus II. Mother of eight children (the second eldest was St. Catherine of Sweden), she lived the strict life of a penitent after her husband’s death. </p><p>Bridget constantly strove to exert her good influence over Magnus; while never fully reforming, he did give her land and buildings to found a monastery for men and women. This group eventually expanded into an Order known as the Bridgetines (still in existence). </p><p>In 1350, a year of jubilee, Bridget braved a plague-stricken Europe to make a pilgrimage to Rome. Although she never returned to Sweden, her years in Rome were far from happy, being hounded by debts and by opposition to her work against Church abuses. </p><p>A final pilgrimage to the Holy Land, marred by shipwreck and the death of her son, Charles, eventually led to her death in 1373. In 1999, she, Saints Catherine of Siena (April 29) and Teresa Benedicts of the Cross (Edith Stein, August 9) were named co-patronesses of Europe.</p> American Catholic Blog In prayer we discover what we already have. You start where you are and you deepen what you already have and you realize that you are already there. We already have everything, but we don’t know it and we don’t experience it.

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