A prominent Vatican official has condemned Brittany Maynard’s choice to end her life with “dignity” after being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer – just days after the 29-year-old woman died surrounded by her husband and family.
Monsignor Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, the head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, reportedly told Italian news agency Ansa: “This woman (took her own life) thinking she would die with dignity, but this is the error. Suicide is not a good thing,” reports the Daily Mail.
The Vatican official continued: “It is a bad thing because it is saying no to life and to everything it means with respect to our mission in the world and towards those around us.”
On Nov. 1, Maynard injected a drug given to her by a doctor so that she could end her suffering after being diagnosed with stage IV glioblastoma multiforme in January and being told she had just six months to live. The newlywed and her husband and mother moved from their California home to Oregon so that she could benefit from the state’s Death with Dignity Act.
Carrasco de Paula went so far as to call Maynard’s suicide “an absurdity,” reports People magazine.
Rev. Dr. Ignacio Castuera, who is a board member with organization Compassion & Choices, which assisted Maynard in her decision, said the young woman was not Catholic and defended her choice.
“People of faith are free to follow their own beliefs and consciences,” Castuera said in a statement. “But it is wrong to use the police power of government to impose a set of religious beliefs on people who do not share them. It is not the American way.”
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