Belgium’s bishops issue guidelines on pastoral care before euthanasia

By Tom Heneghan, 3 July 2019


Belgium’s bishops have issued guidelines for pastoral care of the dying, stressing the need to accompany patients at the end of life but drawing a line at being present if they opt to induce their own death.

Requesting euthanasia, which has been legal in Belgium since 2002, “has become more and more normal in our society” and creates for pastoral workers “tensions that are not easy to bear,” they said in a new brochure entitled “I’ll take you by the hand”.

The brochure starts from the Biblical principle that nobody should be abandoned and praises all those — family, medical staff, chaplains and other pastoral workers — who accompany the dying.

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With thanks to The Tablet and Tom Heneghan, where this article originally appeared.


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