VATICAN, Feb 26 ( – Taking up end of life issues this week, the Pontifical Academy for Life condemned euthanasia and assisted suicide. Bishop Elio Sgreccia vice-president of the Academy and director of the Institute of Bioethics of the Sacred Heart University in Rome, said “Euthanasia and assisted suicide constitute a double crime against life, even if the patient is desirous of abandoning terrestrial existence.”

Addressing medics he said “The doctor has a direct responsibility in the crime, whether he helps the patient with euthanasia or assists him in his suicide.”

Zenit news reported that in summary, the Academy stressed the importance of maintaining “the quality of life of the patient, including (during) his last days· (with) medical and spiritual care around the terminally ill patient, in order to avoid the request of an anticipated death.”