2008 Educational Program: End of Life Issues

God is the Creator and His gift of human life is a sacred trust. We may use this gift of life, but not assume dominion over it, having stewardship but not ownership for that gift. All are created in the image of God, and by that fact alone, each human life has worth and dignity.

In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus reminds us that we cannot ignore those who are suffering around us, be they family members, friends, or complete strangers. We are to be stewards of God’s gift of human life. We must speak out against injustices, and correct misconceptions of human freedom and autonomy which can lead to abuse, neglect, loneliness, and despair.

The Catholic Church, therefore, reiterates its stand on the sacredness of every human life in its special concern for the seriously ill, disabled, elderly, mentally ill, and dying members of our human family. It invites all people of faith to join in an effort to see that our laws and our health care institutions reflect true compassion and support for the most vulnerable among us.