Marlowe's Shade

Friday, July 08, 2005

"Mexican Bishops Urge Anti-euthanasia Law"

From Reuters

Mexico's Roman Catholic bishops on Thursday said there was no such thing as a right to death amid pressure by some lawmakers, doctors and academics to have a national debate on euthanasia.

The Mexican Bishops' Conference, or CEM, representing some 120 bishops, said it sought a law protecting life "from the moment of conception until natural death."

"Today we have numerous methods of strengthening human capacities and reducing physical pain. We cannot intervene for anybody's death, even in extremely painful situations," said Bishop Francisco Javier Chavolla, who leads the Diocese of Toluca near Mexico City.

"The right to death does not exist," he told a news conference at the end of the conference's general assembly.

Euthanasia is not allowed in Mexico, the second-biggest Catholic nation after Brazil. Some 85 percent of Mexicans are Catholic.

The Mexican church, following the Vatican line, said that helping anyone to end their life is wrong and that terminally ill people should be encouraged to fight on.

Matehuala Bishop Rodrigo Aguilar referred to Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged Florida woman who provoked an international uproar when her husband had her feeding tube removed against the wishes of her parents and the Vatican.

"Terri Schiavo was a human being and should have been treated with dignity. Her death was provoked," said Aguilar. "We must respect and defend human life."

At the other end of the life cycle, the bishops said they were concerned about human embryos being treated like merchandise and kept in refrigerators for research using embryonic stem cells.

Mexico has kept the church and state strictly separate since its 1910 revolution. But the clergy's clout has increased under conservative Vicente Fox, a committed Catholic and the first Mexican president to kiss a papal ring.
papijoe 8:18 AM