Last month we witnessed two sad events. On the same day, the feast of St. John the Baptist, the Spanish Parliament passed the law on euthanasia and the European Parliament adopted the “Matić Report”, which redefines abortion as “essential medical care”, recognizing it as a right and presenting conscientious objection as a “denial of medical care”.
On the one hand, it becomes legal to deliberately cause the death of a human being, i.e., to kill by euthanasia or to kill oneself in the case of assisted suicide, if certain circumstances concur (in this case, related to suffering at the end of life). These circumstances, detailed in the newly approved legislation, may change, become more lenient and make it easier for more people — not necessarily sick or terminally ill people — to request euthanasia, as is happening in countries where it has been legalized for longer.
The law, as well as legalizing the attack on human life, undermines the raison d’être of the vocation of doctors and healthcare workers who may be involved in the process. In addition to diagnosing, preventing, curing, relieving, alleviating, or accompanying patients who suffer, they can now also kill them or help them to commit suicide, because it is legal if circumstances so warrant.
They can object to doing so, of course, but they must register on an absurd list, where doctors who try to cure and not kill, who works for the life of their patients and do not seek their death will appear. These will be the ones listed, the ones identified, although no one knows exactly why for it should not be necessary to have a list of the doctors who devote their lives and endeavors to safeguarding the life and health of their patients. That list should include the entire medical profession.
At the same time, in the European Parliament, abortion becomes recognized as a right. Attempts to block the report by some MEPs have been unsuccessful.
The rapporteur of the report, Croatian MEP Predrag Fred Matić, said on the eve of the vote that “tomorrow is a great day for Europe and the entire progressive world. Tomorrow we decide on positioning Europe as a community that chooses to live in the 21st or the 17th century. Don’t let history remember us as the latter ones”.
He was referring to the same Europe which abolished slavery and the death penalty, which prosecutes crime and condemns murder, which seeks peace and condemns war, which promotes equality among its citizens and combats discrimination, protecting the weakest… the Europe that has thus shown its Christian roots, promoting Human Rights.
But for Matić and the parliamentarians who support him, this is 17th-century Europe, outdated and outmoded. Modern Europe is the one that kills embryos within their mothers, because it has recognized their right to do so. Or, as in the case of Spain, it is modern Europe that allows a state-protected physicians to end the lives of their suffering patients. Just as in the 17th century, where people were also aborted and executed, albeit with less sophisticated methods.
It seems that, along with the pandemic that is ravaging Europe, another one of a moral order has infected many of its politicians, making them confuse life with death, care of the weak with killing them, rights with their violation. This is the worst of moral evils, to call truth a lie.
Julio Tudela Pharm PhD
Bioethics Observatory – Institute of Life Sciences