- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 15, 2014

Pope Francis condemned doctor-assisted suicide on Saturday, saying the practice is a “false sense of compassion” and a sin against God.

The Pope made the comments to the Association of Italian Catholic Doctors, Fox News reported Saturday.

The Vatican’s top bioethics official denounced the “reprehensible” assisted-suicide of Brittany Maynard, and American woman who chose to take lethal drugs prescribed by her doctor to end her struggle with terminal brain cancer.

Ms. Maynard had to move to Oregon in order to legally end her own life under the state’s “Death with Dignity” laws, which she championed nationally.

Pope Francis did not specifically refer to Ms. Maynard’s case during his comments.

The pope also condemned euthanasia in general, abortion, in vitro fertilization, or the “scientific production of a child,” and embryonic stem cell research or “using human being as laboratory experiments to presumably save others,” Fox reported.

“This is playing with life,” the Pope said. “Beware, because this is a sin against the creator, against God the creator.”

The head of the Catholic Church said that doctor-assisted suicide is the product of today’s “throw-away culture” that treats the sick and elderly as useless societal burdens and urged doctors to take “courageous and against-the-grain” decision to uphold religious values on the dignity of life.

• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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