Speaking with Italian reporters, Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care, deplored the “cruelty” of a proposal to allow newborns with severe handicapped to be euthanized in the United Kingdom.
The cardinal noted that the position of the Church “is unchanged, life does not belong to man but to the Lord. The life of an innocent being cannot be taken either by direct or indirect means. Euthanasia is never permissible. This goes for the terminally ill and for children, including those born with serious problems.”
According to Cardinal Lozano, “Ending the life of an innocent person, even if it is a premature baby who is gravely ill, is the equivalent of euthanasia, and this is an illicit action, as well as an act of cruelty.”
Cardinal Lozano also emphasized that the Church does not teach that doctors must use disproportionate means or medicines that will only prolong the agony of a person who would otherwise be close to death. “Nobody should be obliged to accept this kind of therapy,” he said. “But in the case that is being presented here, we are dealing with murder. We must remember that the fifth commandment says, Thou shalt not kill.”
You may remember it was reported that the Church of England was in agreement with the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynecology in its support of euthanasia for severely disabled newborns. The Anglicans have clarified their position and stated they were only referring to rejection of extraordinary care and not euthanasia.