The Pope forbade monastic order to carry out euthanasia, threatening excommunication for disobedience
Pope Francis demanded that the monastic order of Brothers of mercy, caring for the sick and the disabled, abandoned the practice of euthanasia in 15 psychiatric hospitals, which are run by communities in Belgium, reports TASS with reference to Vatican Radio.
On the possibility of voluntary withdrawal from life in 15 Belgian psychiatric hospitals belonging to the order founded in 1899, it was announced in March of this year.
The Abbot of the Belgian community of the order of RAF de Costa Rica in its communiqué then emphasized that euthanasia “is carried out only in the absence of any reasonable alternatives, and each application will be treated with maximum discretion”.
Later the chief Abbot of the order, whose reign is in Rome, Renee Stokman made a statement condemning this practice because it is contrary to the basic principles of Church doctrine.
“For the first time a Christian organization argues that euthanasia is a normal medical practice, appropriate therapeutic freedom of the doctor,” said the Abbot. Stockman admitted that the order was subjected to pressure from society, but that shouldn’t be the reason for the concessions, he said.
René Stockman informed the Holy see initiated the investigation. By the end the Pope through the Vatican’s Congregation for institutes of consecrated life – issued a ban on euthanasia in hospitals of the order of Mercy. “In the event of failure to comply with this order will be followed strictly canonical penalties, including excommunication from the Church,” the document says.
According to Vatican Radio, in Belgium, most patients who request euthanasia, suffer from cancer or degenerative diseases, psychiatric patients constitute 3% of all those wishing to voluntarily withdraw from life with the assistance of physicians. Annually euthanasia are exposed to nearly 4 million people, specified in the message.
In Belgium, voluntary departure from life (euthanasia) is legal practice. Local laws it is required the written consent of three doctors. It is also the only country in the world where the law permits euthanasia to minors with no age limit.