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Monday 4 December 2023 Dublin: 4°C

Vatican official calls Brittany Maynard's assisted suicide 'wicked'

The 29-year-old was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer earlier this year.

A SENIOR VATICAN official has condemned as “wicked” the assisted suicide of Brittany Maynard, an American woman suffering from terminal brain cancer.

The 29-year-old died in Portland on Saturday having announced her intention to self-administer a cocktail of fatal drugs legally provided by her doctors.

She was given the diagnosis in April and told she had six months to live.

Anticipating a painful end to her life, she had announced her intention to end it in a video seen by millions of web users around the world.

In the video she says:

I will die upstairs in my bedroom with my husband, mother, stepfather and best friend by my side, and pass peacefully.

CompassionChoices / YouTube

It sparked a national debate in the United States over the right of the terminally ill to die with dignity at a time of their choosing.

Right-to-die laws such as those in place in Oregon are ferociously opposed by the Catholic Church, which maintains that suicide in any form is a sin.

“We do not judge the individuals but the act itself is to be condemned,” said Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, the bishop who heads the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life, a semi-autonomous Church think-tank which studies ethical issues.

Vatican Right To Die AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

“This woman did this thinking she could die with dignity,” Carrasco de Paula told Italian news agency ANSA.

But this is where the error lies: to commit suicide is not a good thing, it is a wicked thing because it is saying no both to one’s own life and to everything which signifies respect for our mission in this world and towards those closest to us.

Read: Brittany Maynard, the 29-year-old who planned her own death, has died>

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