Dear Sister Mary Rose,

In mid-November you came to our class so you could explain the catholic view point on euthanasia, suicide, assisted suicide, passive suicide, and active suicide. We had been studying these various topics for an extensive time and studying many different views and out looks of these topics too. When you came to our class it really helped me understand the reasons and meanings as to where the Catholic Church draws the line in these types of things. I would like to thank you for giving your time to come to my class and teach us your view. I appreciate what you did for us and benefited from your message. As said before we had been picking apart every element or aspect of any type of euthanasia and suicide across a long spectrum and at the final conclusion this is what I have come to know on a couple of the groups supporting and not supporting these topics and my opinion on it all.

For all types of suicide and euthanasia the Catholic Churches rules and views are pretty simple… don’t do it, it is wrong, a sin, and you’re throwing away God’s gift to you; your life. They believe that “most people regard life as something sacred and hold that no one may dispose of it at will, but believers see in life something greater, namely a gift of God’s love which they are upon to preserve and make fruitful”. I believe in this too. The Catholic Church believes in protecting all stages of life at any expense. The only time they will allow you to let yourself die is when saving you calls upon extraordinary events or means of care. This means the Catholic Church will try to keep you alive at any cost or with any illness you have until you have a natural death unless it is an extraordinary extent to keep you alive. No religion states that we are obligated to use every possible means to prolong life.That is the only exception the Catholic Church has on this otherwise we do not decide when our life will end, any more than we decided when it began. We do not have the right to die. People use the term” their right” as a moral claim when it is not. People claim they have a right to death but you do not claim death, death claims you! (In a certain sense). The Catholic Church is very strict on their/God’s ruling and if you do commit any form of euthanasia or suicide it is defiance and rejection of everything they believe and stand for and disrespectful. For it is a question of the violation of the divine law, an offence against the dignity of the human person, a crime against life, and an attack on humanity. It is a rejection of God’s sovereignty and loving plan.

Alison Davis is 28 years old and suffers from a severe physical disability which is irreversible. She has suffered considerable and prolonged pain from time to time and has undergone over 20 operations so far. Even with her suffering she believes that euthanasia because you’re handicapped is completely immoral and wrong. When she was born the doctors told her parents it would best to leave her at the hospital and to “go home and have another”. They said she did not have much potential to have a quality life. 28 years later she is happy, works full time defending the right to life of handicapped people, has been married 8 years, and traveled all over Europe, Soviet Union, and the United States. To her, her quality of life is fine and just the same as if she was able bodied too. Now in places like the Netherlands euthanasia and physician assisted suicide has become legal. She fears that if we legalize euthanasia in other places it will just be putting a target on her head saying she’s next and will lead to a slippery slope and this could “also lead to the de facto decriminalization of the act of killing a handicapped person of any age, just as it did in Hitler’s Germany”. Just because you’re handicapped doesn’t mean your life is worthless. Being handicapped is not a terminal disease and living in a wheel chair is not a death sentence. Life goes on and it can go on productively.

In “The Note” a somewhat auto biography of Chris Hill it describes his life and his adventures he had. To him his life was amazing and lived it well, but his joy of life came to an end when he got in a hang gliding accident when he became a quadriplegic. To him this ended his happiness and started his suffering. Living in vain, pain, and agony he wanted to end his life and stop it all. To him now his life is a burden. Now he believes in the exact opposite as Alison Davis. Though he received his injury much later in life he believes he has every right to kill himself because it was his own life and he decides what he gets to do with it. Since he had seen what he had seen and done what he done he couldn’t stand living the way he did now. He didn’t believe anyone with the same situation could live a fulfilling life.

He also believes in the exact opposite as the Catholics too. He says he “accepted death- embraced it eagerly” he believes he has the right to die and thinks “death is the last great adventure”. He wasn’t religious and doesn’t get how anyone could believe in a just compassionate and almighty god after seeing and experiencing what he has. Near the end of his note Chris Hill says he is sorry and he hopes you can find it in your hearts to forgive him. He believes his death was the only thing to end his suffering and people should have the right to die, that if anyone who disregards his notice is committing a civil and criminal offence against him.
In the Netherlands it is the complete exact opposite from the Catholic view. The Netherlands actually legalized euthanasia, passive, and physician assisted suicide. They were able to do this because in the Netherlands there are very few churches and religious groups against it. They believe that people should have the right to decide when their time has come and they give that right to them. It is their belief that this is dying with dignity. However they do not go overboard with it by letting anyone walk in to any physician assisted suicide place and pay them money to kill them. No, they have to have a terminal disease or unbearable suffering. No one who is just depressed can sign up for this, they have a whole process that you have to go through and once you have done that you have the right to stop it at any time even if its 5 seconds before the inject you the always ask you if you are ready for this and are sure you want to die. They believe that if people who are being tortured by a disease or unbearable pain should have a choice to life or death, and in the Netherlands “the acceptance of active euthanasia has improved the relationship. Patients know that they can count on their doctors when they need them most”. And for the Catholics and Alison Davis’ fear of the slippery so far there has been no evidence of one or of a disturbed relationship between patients and doctors. In the Netherlands they have no fear of the Dutch society becoming a terrible disaster and killing ill patients or handicapped people against their will. To them it is simply a peaceful way to end their life. It is a way to die with dignity on your own terms.
I believe that suicide and euthanasia is wrong. It is the easy way out and a sin. There is one area where I'm a bit hypocritical about euthanasia and that is when people are in commas and have no real brain activity like in Terri Schiavos’ case. I don’t believe a doctor should directly kill her by giving her to much morphing but by simply detaching the feeding tube. Other than cases like that I am against euthanasia. My standards for the ordinary vs extraordinary are a bit different than the catholic view as the means of extraordinary being more common than they think and there is a fine line where ordinary stops. People like Dan James kind of piss me off. He had no real reason to kill himself he was just depressed he definitely still could have live a full life. He was only in a wheel chair and had use of his upper body yet he still committed suicide. He was a coward and dumb. Ramon SanPedro’s case is a bit more understandable but he never tried to get better and refused to use a wheel chair or assistance of others. He never made an effort to make his life better so he ended up having some friends passively assist his suicide, but he was still wrong. Both of them never made the decision to try to make their life better or look at the glass half full (I know that it is harder for Ramón to do this and if I had a situation anywhere near him it would be hard to be as optimistic as I am now). Chris Hill made me mad to at one point in his letter when he said this “It’s a challenge, many of you said. Bullshit. My life was just a miserable existence, an awful parody of normalcy. What’s a challenge without some reward to make it worthwhile?” he does not understand that he had a great life before this and is too blind to see that life isn’t always far he threw away all his memories and every think he experienced even though after this quote he said there was ways to make his life better. He also said he couldn’t see how anyone could believe in a just compassionate and almighty god after seeing and experiencing what he has. He says he isn’t religious so then why does he go on blaming god for his injury and saying he is not just and compassionate without thanking him for the great life that he had before! It’s not that he is not religious but he should be honored and humbled by what he has seen and done even if he doesn’t believe in god. Also I still don’t get how people in the Netherlands or Dignitas or anyone else who wants to kill themselves thinks that committing suicide is death with dignity. To me there is no dignity and only shame in it. You’re throwing away everything and it’s a permanent result to a temporary problem. In class we had to watch the movie “Million Dollar Baby” where it romanticizes euthanasia. It was a good movie but I don’t agree with it. They try to make you sympathize with it and it work I don’t hate the coach for killing her in the end but I don’t agree with it either. There is one more person I don’t agree with that we studied and that is Jack Kevorkian and you can probably guess why. I just simply don’t agree or like what he does. To me it’s simply immoral and wrong last but not lease what is up with all the people who think they have the so called right to die. You don’t. It is not a right. Just because it is your life does not mean you can throw it away without affecting others. If you are religious then you know it is not your life cause your life was a gift from god and you live for him. My view is pretty simple, I do not believe in suicide and euthanasia and don’t think either is a good or right way to die. Until you figure out the reason why we are here, why you were created, or life in general you have no right to take it.