Russian Orthodox Church Speaks Out Against Euthanasia

from http://www.pravmir.com/article_141.html (Orthodoxy and the World) (originally from www.interfax-religion.com)

The deputy head of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations Rev. Vsevolod Chaplin said that medical termination of newborn babies’ lives is unacceptable provided they are capable of independent viability.

However, the advisability of artificial life-support may be questioned in some cases, he added.

‘Sometimes it is really questionable whether we should artificially support the functioning of a baby born obviously incapable of life. Christian common sense must be taken into account in such cases. We should remember that the Lord will receive the baby’s soul with love,’ Rev. Vsevolod told Interfax on Wednesday.

These are his comments on the Church of England Bishop Tom Butler’s recent saying that medical doctors should be given the right to terminate lives of seriously disabled newborns.

At the same time he underscored that so-called active euthanasia, when a human person capable of living without artificial life-support has his life terminated, is ‘absolutely unacceptable.’

‘The church always hopes for a miracle,’ he added.

Rev. Vsevolod said that in his practice as a priest he baptized babies ‘practically doomed to die by their physicians. Yet, they have grown absolutely healthy and enjoy the fullness of life making their parents happy.’

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