Sunday, 2 September 2012

"Thou shalt not kill ...."

RIP His Eminence Cardinal Martini, a man who during his life suffered the misfortune of being largely misunderstood by the liberal press, who today claim him as one of their own. Ever in search of a simple headline, Martini bore with fortitude such stories as 'Cardinal supports right to die', 'Cardinal in favour of condoms' and 'Martini supports married priests'. The actuality was that Martini's views were far more nuanced than was usually reported. 

The English medical profession struck the nail squarely many years ago with its stance on the 'right to die'; 
Thou shalt not kill
But needst not strive
Officiously
To keep alive
The Vatican, ever prolix, renders this unimaginatively as
When inevitable death is imminent in spite of the means used, it is permitted in conscience to take the decision to refuse forms of treatment that would only secure a precarious and burdensome prolongation of life, so long as the normal care due to the sick person in similar cases is not interrupted. Discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legitimate.
I understand that Cardinal Martini refused the later treatments for his Parkinson's that would delay his natural death but strove until the last to fulfil his vocation with every living breath. May he rest in peace. 

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wonder what Aquinas would have thought and said, something pretty similar I would deem.

R.I.P. Cardinal Martini.

Edward Spalton said...

According to the Belfast Telegraph, he left a pretty thorough denunciation of the present Church management behind him - a very PC composition according to the report.