The Church teaches as she has always taught that suicide is “grave matter” and that if someone willingly takes their own life in full knowledge of the grave matter, that they have committed a mortal sin. In the case where the suicide is done in full knowledge, and even at the moment of death there is no repentance, the person faces damnation. Of course the church has never named anyone who is in hell – not even Judas. Only Dante had the nerve to do that, but the truth stands.
Mother Teresa pointed out that once we allow mothers to kill their own children, there is nothing to stop us killing each other – and of course she was right. As more and more soul-dead people call for infanticide as an extension of abortion, there are even more voices clammering for the “right to die” for the disabled, very sick and very old. Of course these young healthy screamers do not mean “right” to die at all; they mean “obligation to die.”
I have yet to see a massive lobby for the right to palliative care – which is barely available at all on the NHS and only happens in well run independent hospices. Instead we hear of patients being starved and dehydrated to death. Of terrified sick people calling for death, rather than risk the horror of what is supposed to be “care” in our hospitals and institutions for the elderly.
One massive sin the Church and all Christians need to stand firm against is the bullying and gross selfishness of those who push others into suicide. I think it’s too easy to point at the victim of suicide and forget that there may well have been gross neglect and cruelty that pushed them there. (This is aside from the fact that many people. perhaps most, are seriously mentally ill at the time of their death). When we consider that as a whole it is believed that suicide is generally under reported and where there is a high probability that inquests that end with a narrative verdict may leave that person off the statistics even though they took their own life, we are left with a shambles.
I have a personal view that the Torys in the ’80s closed so many psychiatric beds that it is hardly surprising that both the prison population and the suicide rate rocketed.
A lot of good Christian people get a bit het up about those who commit suicide. Some even question whether they should attend the funeral. But perhaps we need to stop a moment and question who will meet judgement in the end; those who are driven to suicide – or those who drive them?
What about the people who simply didn’t care; who shrugged, ignored and ticked boxes? Those of us who have watched in chilled disbelief the sheer callousness of consultants at an inquest can have no delusion that when it comes to pushing the seriously ill to die, that they wont push very hard indeed.
We are seeing more and more professionals who respect the dignity and basic rights – the personhood – of all no matter how fragile, being shunted aside and forced out. It leaves more room for children to be killed off too. (h/T Shana)
It’s time to fight for good palliative care; for true dignity and for the right to die naturally.