By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

MADRID, October 29, 2008 ( – Six professors of the University of Madrid have produced and signed a manifesto in defense of the dignity of human life and natural death, which they made public at a press conference held in Madrid on Monday.

The group, University Professors in Defense of Natural Death, began their manifesto with the statement, “Given the intense pressures on Spanish public opinion to approve assisted suicide and euthanasia, the need exists to defend the dignity of natural death as the proper end of every human life.”

The university professors’ document may be seen as a response to a group of Spanish euthanasia advocates, led by Dr. Luis Montes, who issued a manifesto in July that claimed that “the human person … enjoys the rights of self-determination, liberty, dignity, and others, which permit him to dispose of his life” and “to confront death in light of his personal decision.”

The Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano commented in an article on October 15 that “Spain is in the forefront of the most contestable” bio-ethical policies, with the socialist government intending to reform Spanish abortion laws and legalize a form of euthanasia.

The socialist government of the Spanish province of Andalucia is considering new legislation which would allow terminally ill patients to refuse medical treatment and make it illegal to keep someone alive by what they have called “therapeutical excess.”

The proposed law could fine doctors up to one million euros for “unjustified and useless measures for prolonging life,” according to the Spanish newspaper El Pais.

The University of Madrid professors state that “human life is sacred, for its intrinsic dignity which cannot be measured in degrees, as it is universal, regardless of one’s situation of age, health, or the autonomy he possesses” and that the state has an “undeniable duty” for the protection and care of every person “even when the person seems to have lost their value.”

The manifesto continues: “Euthanasia understood as a deliberate act of terminating the life of a person, whether it be upon personal request or upon the decision of a third party, and assisted suicide, are morally and ethically reproachable.”

The document ends with an appeal to Spanish citizens and the government to recognize the dignity of natural death “as it is a right of every person.”

“A society that accepts the termination of the lives of certain people, due to their precarious health and because of the intervention of third-parties, inflicts on itself the belief that the lives of the sick are not worth living or are of lesser value,” the professors conclude.

Link to the Spanish text of the manifesto:

See related articles:

Spanish Euthanasia Advocates Launch Legalization Campaign

Proposed Spanish Euthanasia Law Would Fine Doctors for “Unjustified Measures” to Prolong Lives of Patients


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