Page 2 - The Final Journey

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“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one
of the least of these brothers and sisters
of mine, you did for me.”
Matthew 25:40
M
any great advances related tomedical science and technology
have beenmade that may prolong human life.
This great
blessing is accompanied with the reality of how to best use these new
technologies and how to better understand the moral requirements
related to their use.
The Church
aims to develop a life of virtues and values which
usually are found in the middle of two extremes. The use of modern
technologies in medicine offers no exception. The Church does
not require an obstinate adherence to all medical measures for
the preservation of life, but it does condemn the practices of
euthanasia and assisted suicide. This balance is based on several
ideals such as the understanding of the sanctity of human life, the
meaning of human suffering, the spiritual dimension that should be
considered part of the journey that every human being experiences,
the reality of death, and the distinction between proportionate vs.
disproportionate care.
The Church reminds us that we are called to be people who
take care of life.
Blessed Pope John Paul II, in his 2000 Christmas
message, said,
“The temptation is becoming ever stronger to take
possession of death by anticipating its arrival, as though we were
masters of our own lives or the lives of others.”
The Church communicates
to every human being that God loves
us and never abandons us, and even though “we walk in the valley
of darkness,” we should fear no evil for God is always at our side (Ps
23:4). The Church’s involvement in health care reflects this basic
Christian teaching.
When it comes to end-of-life decisions,
it is not only about health
care or medicine, but also about spiritual support of the patient.
Confronting one’s ownmortality
may be the greatest test of faith
a human being must face. Through prayer, patients can better
understand how precious they are to God and to the Church.
It is important that people suffering from any kind of sickness
understand these principles and that the Church and its ministers
are representative of a loving and caring God who is with them at the
hour of suffering.
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