Russian Orthodox church speaks out on euthanasia


Euthanasia does not appear
to be a very lively issue in Russia, although it has appeared in the media from
time to time. Recently Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, a spokesman for the Moscow
Patriarchate gave the position of the Russian Orthodox Church:

The Russian Orthodox Church has condemned
euthanasia as a combination of murder and suicide. If a person is not ready to
endure sufferings until the end, that’s not a position to be delinquent.

At the same time, we know many cases where
people, who were not given any hope by their physicians, were cured by God,
often by miracle. And that teaches us to keep hope till the very last moment,
to obey the will of God and to continue fighting for life. And I think in this
case it’s much more ethical in a way to maintain man’s life and to encourage a
person to fight for his life.

It’s important to understand that in the modern
society there’s a serious danger of turning euthanasia into a sort of means of
solving economic and social problems.

It’s easy to imagine a situation where pressure
would be put on patients, who are not economically profitable, in order to
persuade them to end their life. Such pressure is absolutely immoral. But there
have been voices who were actually calling for such pressure.

(click here for podcast)  Voice of
Russia, June 6


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