The Boston Globe
April 29, 2012
Quoted: J. Bryan Hehir
Topic: The “Death with Dignity” ballot initiative
The Catholic Church, for its part, makes a key distinction between refusing certain medical treatment and actively ending one’s life. Church policy on end-of-life care has long differentiated ordinary from extraordinary means of prolonging life. That is, it’s morally acceptable, in the church’s view, not to go to extraordinary lengths. But there’s “a big ethical leap” between rejecting procedures or treatment and ingesting a fatal prescription, says the Rev. J. Bryan Hehir, the secretary for health care and social services in the Boston Archdiocese. “We distinguish between a low-key approach to dying and a purposeful action to take someone’s life or that they take their own life,” he says. “That is the dividing line.”
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