Pro-Life Resources: End-of-Life Issues

Does human suffering have a purpose?

There is no escaping pain in this life. Despite its inevitability, modern society struggles against pain in its futile attempts to ban it from our lives. Even more fundamentally, we seem to have forgotten that we possess immortal souls made in the image of God ― and the possession of a soul, renders us capable of benefiting from suffering. Read more.

What’s the problem with euthanasia?

The term “euthanasia” means any action committed or omitted for the purpose of causing or hastening the death of a human being after birth, usually for the alleged purpose of ending the person’s suffering. The Vatican’s Declaration on Euthanasia states, “By euthanasia is understood an action or an omission which of itself or by intention causes death, in order that all suffering may in this way be eliminated.” Read more.

Are there non-religious reasons to oppose euthanasia?

The anti‑euthanasia activist should not be intimidated by a pro‑euthanasia person who does not believe in God ― or who believes in a permissive, feel‑good “god” who allows him to do anything he wants. The act of euthanasia is illogical and wrong from a purely secular viewpoint. Read more.

What does the Catholic Church teach about euthanasia?

There can be no doubt that euthanasia is contrary to the will of God.  Scripture is replete with references as to how God created us; how He has a purpose for each of us; how He reserves the right to call us home; how He cares for us; and how our suffering in this life purifies us and prepares us to spend eternity with Him in Heaven. As such, the Church’s unequivocal condemnation of euthanasia has a strong biblical foundation. Read more.

What can the Bible tell us about the morality of euthanasia?

We read stories throughout the Bible that teach about the sanctity of life. We see teachings that prohibit murder, commanding us to love one another and to give of ourselves to others. And we read about the value of suffering. These are all hints as to the morality of euthanasia. Read more.

What does it mean to say that euthanasia is a “slippery slope”?

Euthanasia causes or hastens a person’s death; therefore, according to the Catechism, euthanasia is “morally unacceptable.” God has a plan for every single one of us, and our lives belong to Him. We do not choose the day we are born, and we should not choose the day we leave this world. If we interfere with God’s plans for our lives, we begin a slippery slope that leads to worse evils. Read more.

What’s wrong with physician-assisted suicide?

Physician-assisted suicide is an important topic in the debates regarding life and death. Many people who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness want to be “put out of their misery.” But as is always the case in ethical issues regarding human life, there are key notions and distinctions which must be understood and there is in the end only one acceptable decision: life. Read more.

Does the Hippocratic Oath exclude euthanasia and assisted suicide?

The Hippocratic Oath outlines proper conduct and basic principles to be observed by doctors. All graduating medical students once pledged first to “do no harm”—the most well-known and fundamental promise. However, the original Oath has been rewritten to accommodate efforts to legalize and normalize euthanasia, assisted suicide, and abortion, which are explicitly prohibited in the original Oath. Read more.

What advance medical directive options are available for Catholics?

Advance medical directives and those surrogates who speak for patients in terms consistent with Church moral teachings are themselves morally good.  However, Catholics who choose to use advance directives should be careful that any decisions made in their behalf at the end of their lives will be pro-life ones. Read more.

What are the ethics of pain management?

Those who diligently practice their Catholic faith commonly ask three questions regarding the ethics of pain management drugs near the end of life: (1) May they be used if they unintentionally shorten the life of the person? (2) May they be used if they induce semi‑consciousness? (3) May they be used if they induce total unconsciousness? Read more.

What are ordinary and extraordinary means of treatment?

Contrary to what pro‑euthanasia propagandists sometimes allege, the Catholic Church has never taught that every life must be extended to the last minute by all means possible. The principles of ordinary and extraordinary means of treatment explain to what point we are required to provide medical treatment. Read more.


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