As a famous philosopher Maria Szyszkowska proves – ‘the right for euthanasia is an expression of respect to another man’. In the name of freedom supporters of euthanasia demand the right to decide about their own life. They shock with fear against suffering, loneliness and abandonment.

The example comes from the West

A real paradise for euthanasia supporters are Scandinavian countries – Holland was the first one to legalize it. The recent survey showed that every 5th inhabitant of this country thinks the right to the programmed death should belong to not only lethally ill people but also elderly people tired of life. It is this country which allows for euthanasia of children from the age of 12. If you live in Holland, you can ‘order’ death after providing a certificate about the bad state of health and confirmation of the will twice beforehand. It was so previously, but recently dames have been unsealed. In Haga a special clinic was established, in which there is euthanasia. During its two months of functioning, over 200 motions for euthanasia were submitted to it. In Holland it is also possible to ‘order’ death at home. One can only make an application to the so-called death ambulances travelling across the country. Somebody suffering from depression or Alzheimer can undergo euthanasia.

In this industry of death, there is a terrifying fact that not only people who expressed their consent to it are deprived of life. There is an assumption that it is only a patient who asked for it, because he did not oppose to it. Over 20 per cent of Dutch doctors stated that they would have killed a patient if he ‘felt tired of life’.

Most people, who signed euthanasia documents, were not ill, but these people were in a bad psychical state. Even 65 per cent of doctors in this country stated that they were under the pressure of shortening life of a patient, and even 36 per cent did it to the demand of a family.

It is worth presenting an attitude of one of doctors about whom dr. Zbigniew Żylicz says, working in Holland. When he was going on holiday, he entrusted his patient to his colleague. How surprised he was to find out after his return that the woman had undergone euthanasia, although she had not asked for it. The colleague explained to him: - She would have died anyway, and I needed a vacant bed. Besides more money would have had to be spent on the treatment and it had been unbeneficial.

Can such words astonish, as well as the actions of people who kill the ill? In the world in which only money and convenient life are important, everything is permitted. It is possible to adjust every law to one’s opinion.

According to Dutch data, in 1990,there were 25 306 cases of euthanasia, among which 14 691 were done without patients’ consent. It is the so- called cryptanasia. The most common kind is terminal sedation. A patient is given a raised dose of morphine and later he is not given any food or drink. An ill person dies from hunger and thirst.

In other countries where euthanasia is legal, the same situation happens. In neighbouring Belgium in 2012 1432 surgeries shortening life were done, which is 2 per cent of all deaths. Not long ago have mass media published a photo of a 95-year-old smiling sportsman, making a toast with a glass of champagne and being surrounded by his family and friends. – It was the most beautiful day in my life – he said and next day he was given a lethal injection. A few months earlier a famous Belgian chemist, the laureate of Nobel’s Prize in medicine, chose the same way of departing from this life. From time to time, media in that country supply similar news to readers, praising euthanasia products like a new toothpaste. And nobody is shocked by statements of one of the former chairman of the European Bank of Restoration and Development – Jacque Attali, who said that ‘the man who is over 60-65 years old, stops being productive for the society and should be eliminated’.

On 13 February 2014 the Chamber of Representatives of the Belgian Parliament accepted the act about euthanasia legalization of incurably ill underage people, including 6 and 7-year-old children. In order to do euthanasia, a severely ill and suffering child can only express his/her willingness to shorten his/her life which will be confirmed by his/her parents.

Besides the countries of Benelux the access to euthanasia is given to inhabitants o Switzerland, Albania, Japan or the states of Oregon, Texas, Washington in the North America. Two years ago, the Bioethical Committee of the Canadian Pediatric Society acknowledged euthanasia of babies, treating this situation as a late abortion. The Swiss organization Dignitas boasts in the fact that during 13 years it helped 1.1 thousand people die. Only in 2010 200 ill people, who had paid from 4 to 7 thousand euro, were deprived of life. Visits to the euthanasia clinic in Zurich are advertised abroad as euthanasia tourism. At the end of the 90s of the last century, the centre was founded by a Swiss attorney Ludwig Minelli. An ill man or somebody tired of life comes to this clinic. He spends a few days in it. The last day he goes for a walk, and after a farewell supper he gets a champagne and in a separate room, in the presence of cameras he drinks a poison of the mixture of barbiturates. In order to proceed according to law, the record of the suicide is sent to a police doctor. This business of death brings big income to the owner of the clinic. In 2006 his tax return got into press, which proved that he earns 7 million Swiss Francs every year. In 2005 the former worker of the clinic says that Minelli deprives people of their dignity, putting a pressure on patients hesitating to drink the poison.

There is a known case of the American ‘doctor of death’, as he was called, Jacek Kevorkian, who helped 130 people to depart from this world. In the 90s he used to kill his patients in a van. He had avoided justice administration for a long time, showing jurors video records, in which ill people, in the presence their relatives, were demanding death. It was beyond any limits, when on a television programme ’60 minutes’ he injected poison to an ill man. These open mocks at law cost him 8 years of imprisonment. He spent the last months of his life in hospital. He died at the age of 83, not demanding euthanasia for himself.

It is astonishing that surveys conducted in hospices in Western countries showed that 80 per cent of patients regained their faith in the sense of life, after receiving care and love. At the moment of being admitted into a palliative institution, they were asking for euthanasia, but after some time they became its opponents. Whereas the societies of these countries in 70-80 percent express their attitude for the at wish death.

Mass Media in the West shock recipients with frequent reports about people’s tragedies, as a result of which they demand death. A French married couple deprived themselves of life in a luxurious hotel, leaving a farewell letter in which they accuse the government of the anti-euthanasia law. A woman losing sight is asking for euthanasia, and healthy 75-years-old person demands euthanasia, because he is not interested in anything in this world. Such reports are to prepare a ground for introducing right of ‘good death’. In Spain, France, Italy, Austria, Germany there are debates on this issue, and cases of euthanasia in these countries are treated very mildly by the justice administration. Germany is astonishing, where 60-80 per cent of the society is for euthanasia, as if nobody remembered about the wicked acts of Hitler who deprived the Jews and Romans of life for maintaining ‘race purity’, as well as the mentally ill, the deaf and dumb, the blind, the invalids with inborn defects and also ‘asocial elements of homosexuals, the homeless, prostitutes, unemployed, beggars, alcoholics. We do not know exact numbers concerning this program. Now Germany is trying to forget about it, opening the door to a discussion about voluntary death. It would be better if 30 per cent of the Dutch who ran away from their homeland to Germany from the atrocious law, were not in trouble again.

Against faith

Only somebody with a definite atheistic worldview can accept euthanasia. No religion tolerates this kind of manipulation of the human life. In the light of faith each case of euthanasia is evil and religion cannot agree to this kind of murder.

The Catholic Church often expressed his opinion on this issue. In the Declaration about euthanasia of the Congregation of Faith Teaching ‘Iura et bona’, the encyclical of John Paul II ‘Evangelium Vitae’ and in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the problem of faith and human’s right to life are put in the first place. Life comes from God and only He is its Lord. Euthanasia is active causing death of an ill or suffering man. Euthanasia is both discontinuing treatment when a disease brings a patient closer to death and nothing can be done, as well as administering anesthetic drugs shortening life. Each of us has a right to die in dignity, which should not be equivalent to administering a lethal injection or drinking a poison. Death in dignity is a right of dying without pain, fear, rejection, it is death of somebody reconciled with him/herself, with God and other people.

And here there are usually arguments that death caused by severe diseases are usually associated with pain. Today’s level of medicine can cope with it. Doctors working in hospices say about it. They also pay attention to a different attitude towards ill people in the palliative care centre. The director of one of Warsaw hospices – Fr. Amdrzej Dziedziul MIC says that most ill people coming to his centre have lost faith in life. They are overwhelmed by fear, feel rejected, are often improperly treated by doctors. Only in hospices do they find peace and sense of their life. Attitude of love and understanding towards them, restoring their sense of their dignity, helps them regain harmony in their psyche.

Somebody who is incurably ill is thinking over the mystery of suffering. He often asks himself a question: why is it me, why in this way? Suffering is a mystery which is impossible to investigate. We must only trust God, entrust Him our worries and He will not disappoint us and will give strength to each of us to endure suffering. It is only Him who decides about our existence. There are cases of releasing ill people from hospices, regressions of diseases or complete cure. It is never known what process a disease will have and what moral transformations somebody will undergo. And euthanasia does not allow for these things but violently disrupts life.

In Poland, according to the latest surveys of the Public Opinion Research Centre, over a half of the society are for euthanasia. Internet forums glorify the countries which legalized this kind of death. Here the mainstream media have a role of exposing the tragic cry of people demanding euthanasia. It was so in the case of a crippled and bedridden man. The foundation of Anna Dymna got interested in him and took care of him. Now, the ill man is not thinking about taking a poison and, holding a pencil in his mouth, he is writing his biography on a computer. But media often keep silent about further fates of these people.

In a moment of reflection, supporters of euthanasia should think deeper whether they would like to have their life shortened or somebody else’s life whom they love. It is easier to talk about ‘good death’ when one is young and health. This problem is far-away then, like far-away galaxies in the space. An elderly man is looking at it from different perspective of his life.


"Niedziela" 8/2014

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: