The Compass: Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin  Respect
  for Life

Click for past issues online
Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin
April 12, 2002 Issue

A student perspective on euthanasia

By Emily Keebler

A student perspective on euthanasia

Why is physician-assisted suicide wrong?

Students in grades seven through 12 throughout the Diocese of Green Bay responded to this question through their participation in this year's Wisconsin State Council Knights of Columbus Respect for Life Essay Contest.

Essays were first judged at the council level. Council winners advanced to the diocesan level, and diocesan winners advanced to the state competition.

"If you didn't make it, don't break it." At some point, each of us has reminded a young child of this rule. This same simple principle applies to the topic of euthanasia. God has created us, and he is the only one who has the right to end a human life. Allowing physicians to kill their patients by providing a drug overdose or lethal injection is immoral. The International Code of Medical Ethics proclaims "a doctor must always bear in mind the obligation of preserving human life from the time of conception until death." Euthanasia contradicts a physician's role as caregiver and healer.

As followers of Christ, we must be stewards of all creation, especially human beings. Leading a life in correspondence to God's loving plan is an obligation everyone has. Life includes the death process, which is naturally associated with suffering and agony. We can consider death a way of understanding the suffering of our Savior Jesus Christ. Therefore, natural death is necessary in order to fully understand Christ's sacrifice and be wholly united with him in heaven.

Sixty-three percent of euthanasia victims in 2000 expressed fear of being a burden as a reason for their suicide. Each of us has a responsibility to our community to care for one another with a positive attitude and carry out the appropriate treatments. Less people will feel like a burden if we help care for each other.

Euthanasia is a serious issue, which affects many other topics. If euthanasia is legalized, what will happen to medical research? Will chemotherapy and radiation gradually be replaced with euthanasia? What effects will the poor, frail and elderly, terminally ill, racial minorities, and the disabled feel if euthanasia is legalized? Will they feel pressured to die? We need to keep these people in mind as we decide upon our perspective on euthanasia. They, too, are children of the Lord.

Healer and caregiver. These two words certainly describe Jesus and should also characterize each of us. Instead of killing, we must reach out by giving care and encouragement to those who need our help.

This issue's contents   |   Most recent issue's contents   |   Past issues index

Top of Page | More Menu Items | Home

© Catholic Diocese of Green Bay
1825 Riverside Drive | P.O. Box 23825 | Green Bay, WI 54305-3825
Phone: 920-437-7531 | Fax: 920-437-0694 | E-Mail: [email protected]