Russian Orthodox Church condemns euthanasia

Euthanasia, or the practice of painlessly putting to death people suffering from incurable diseases, contradicts Christian morals, believes official spokesman for the Moscow Patriarchate Father Vsevolod Chaplin. Asked to comment on the euthanasia legalization bill adopted by the first house of the Dutch parliament, Father Vsevolod recalled that the Episcopal Council of 2000 had condemned euthanasia as "inadmissible." "Euthanasia is a double sin. It is murder on the doctor's part and suicide on the patient's," explained the clergyman. "Christianity says a human life belongs to God, it is a Godsent gift. Committing suicide means voluntarily rejecting the gift God has bestowed on you." Besides, "there is a chance that some doctors may use euthanasia to cover up their negligence." There are cases when you cannot be certain if an ailing person is actually going to die. "The Church always believes in a miracle and prays for the recovery of the sick until the end," stressed Father Vsevolod.

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