In a meeting with the Italian Association of Medical Oncology, Pope Francis condemned euthanasia not as freedom, but as reducing the person to a “thing.”

On Monday, Pope Francis met with the Italian Association of Medical Oncology (AIOM) at the Clementine Hall in the Vatican Apostolic Palace. He condemned euthanasia as a rejection of hope that masquerades as promoting personal freedom.

“The practice of euthanasia, which has already become legal in several states, only seemingly aims to encourage personal freedom. If one chooses death, in a sense problems are solved; but what rejection of hope is involved in the decision to give up everything and break all ties!”

The Holy Father said euthanasia is based on a “utilitarian” view of the person that reduces humanity to a “thing,” and that medical technology is misused if “it distinguishes between those who still deserve to be treated and those who do not.”

“In reality it is based on a utilitarian view of the person, who becomes useless or can be equated to a cost, if from the medical point of view he or she has no hope of improvement or can no longer avoid pain.”

He encouraged all to reject euthanasia and to look for hope in the most extreme of cases.

“Sometimes, we are in a sort of Pandora’s box: all things are known, everything is explained, everything is resolved but only one thing is hidden: hope. And we have to go and look for this. How to translate hope, or indeed, how to give it in the most extreme cases.”

You can read Pope Francis’ full address to the AIOM here.

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