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February 26, 1993     The Message
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February 26, 1993

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26,1993 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern indiapa ands protests over Vatican criticism ByAGOSTINO BOND to the Vatican, said Dutch tuses are offended if Hitler is member of parliament urging Catholic News Service ATICAN CITY (CNS) -- criticism of Dutch eu- islation has )lomatic protest government re- a Vatican official euthanasia to the policies of War II Nazi leader and an editorial Vatican newspaper, RemanD, said it human rights to interests." the Dutch gov- L, called in Archbishop Vatican am- to express its dis- h 0 'Comparison that was improper and it is eXpress our feelings" 00Ed. L. Lee Mortuary North Meridian Street IN 254-3612 Prime Minister Ruud Lub- bers, a Catholic and member of the Christian Democratic Party. Lubbers also questioned whether the Vatican was ac- curately informed about the content of the euthanasia bill that was approved by parlia- ment in February and sched- uled to become law in 1994. The Dutch official was re- acting to a Feb. 18 Vatican Radio interview with Bishop Elio Sgreccia, vice president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, and a Page One editorial in the Feb. 21 L'Os- servatore RemanD. The Vatican criticisms were based an the approved legislation, which provides guidelines for doctor-assisted suicides, and news reports that the Dutch parliament might consider further legis- lation to apply euthanasia to the mentally ill and mal- formed babies. "The supporters of eu- thanasia and of selective abortion for malformed fe- "SERVING EVANSVILLE-NEWBURGH ELBERFELD AREA SINCE 1911" WITH DEPENDABILITY DIGNITy & 01TINCTION - t.,, - TqTltee Locations :i:Serve You 100 E. COLUMBIA, EVANSVILLE 853-8314 t s evoked/' said Bishop Sgrec- cia. The comparison is valid be- cause these situations deal with "eliminating human life held to be useless for that type of society," he said. "For Hitler, Jehrs and the mentally ill were useless," he added. Today, society wants to eliminate "every life that is an economic burden," said Bishop Sgreccia. The L'Osservatore RemanD editorial said that through eu- thanasia legislation "legal principles and universal ethics are overturned by aber- rant applications." The legislation is the result of a "nee-capitalistic culture, which values the quality of life on the basis of effi- ciency," said the editorial. "Euthanasia and abortion, whether voluntary or im- posed, are the barbaric, but horrendously logical, effects of that premise," it said. The legislation was also op- posed by the Dutch bishops, who sent letters to every defeat. On Feb. 9 the lower house of the Dutch parliament ap- proved a euthanasia bill that is expected to become law next year. Under the legisla- tion, euthanasia technically remains a crime but doctors who follow a strict criteria will not be prosecuted. The main conditions are: m The patient.must be ter- minally ill and suffering un- bearable pain. The patient must request death. Another doctor should be consulted prior to the as- sisted suicide. -- All cases of euthanasia must be reported to the coro- ner with a detailed account of circumstances. The bill would legalize a de facto situation. For almost 20 years doctors have avoided prosecution by following in- formal guidelines. A 1991 government study said that 2,700 cases of as- sisted suicide are performed each year in the Netherlands. Pro-life official sees Doctor Kevorkian as 'serial mercy killer' WASHINGTON (CNS) Dr. Jack Kevarkian, so-called "suicide doctor," is living up to his reputation as "a serial mercy killer," according to an official of the U.S. bishops' pro-life office. Richard Doerflinger, associ- ate director for policy devel- opment in the bishops' Secre- tariat for Pro-Life Activities, said Kevorkian has "stepped up his activities in order to squeeze as many deaths as possible into the time prior to the effective date of Michi- gan's law" against assisted suicide. Doerflinger said the charac- terization of Kevorkian as a "serial mercy killer" was first made by ethicist Arthur Ca- plan from the University of Minnesota. With about six weeks to go until Michigan makes as- sisted suicide a felony on March 30, Kevorkian helped two more people to commit suicide Feb. 18. The two -- Jonathon Grenz, 44, of Costa Mesa, Calif., and Martha Ruwart, 41, of Cardiff by the Sea, Calif. -- were the 14th and 15th persons in whose suicides Kevorkian has participated. Kevorldan, a retired pathol- 510 JENNINGS, NEWBURGH MPSON- ,. 00oLKM00o'. I I ] I I|1 I o  983-4211 ] Main Street _[ Pharmacy[ 2Z E. U=n St. . .=to,n WL I Phone. 264-5141 [ ELBERFELD, IND. ' " ogist, has said he will ignore the Michigan law because it is "medically immoral." Nine of the 15 people who have died with the help of machines invented by Kevorkian have committed suicide since mid-December, when Michigan Gov. John Engler signed the new legislation. Michael Schwartz, an attor- ney representing Kevorkian, said the more rapid pace of suicides in recent wee "1 was caused not by the physician but by a greater number of people who have sought his help in killing themselves be- fore the March 30 deadline. "People are becoming more desperate," he said. "People who might not have con- tacted him are contacting him now out of fear and panic." Grenz and Ms. Ruwart, who killed themselves Feb. 18, both had forms of cancer. Grenz had throat cancer and Ruwart had duodenal cancer that had spread to her ovaries. Both died by inhal- ing carbon monoxide through a mask invented by Kevorkian. I II I[I I I J /LENTEN PROGRAM PRAYER EDUCATION FASTING (t" ALMSGIVING OPERATION/ R00CE BOWL I II ..... 11 e of :72 seminarians i closestto ordination, and European seminaries re- ported a 4.49 percent in-