In comments about Brittany Maynard, the terminally ill cancer patient who took her own life, one Vatican official clarified that while we cannot judge a person, we can judge actions themselves as right or wrong. Spanish Bishop Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life at the Vatican, explained to ANSA news agency, “We don't judge people, but the gesture in itself is to be condemned. What happened in her conscience we don't know.” Bishop Carrasco de Paula said Maynard decided to take her life “thinking she would die with dignity, but that is the error.” He called this view “an absurdity” because “dignity is something incompatible with putting an end to your own life.” “Committing suicide is not a good thing; it is bad because it’s saying 'no' to one's own life and to everything that it means regarding our mission towards the people around us in this world." If someday “a law is passed allowing the sick to end their lives,” the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life said, “they would be left completely abandoned. This danger is imminent because society does not want to pay the costs of illness and there is a risk that this outlook would become (seen as) the solution.” Maynard, who suffered from a brain tumor, originally said she would kill herself on Nov. 1 after fulfilling several of her last wishes. Doctors had told her she only had six months to live. Two days before Nov. 1, she posted a video indicating she might postpone her suicide. In the end, she followed through with her decision with the help of the pro-assisted suicide group.
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