Moscow, Apr. 19, 2007 (CWNews.com) - As Russian legislators take up a proposal to allow physician-assisted suicide, a leading medical figure and a religious authority have voiced their objections.

In an interview for the newspaper Rossijskiej Gaziety, the head of the Russian Academy of Medicine, Michail Davydov, has declared that he is opposed to euthanasia, even though he is a daily witness to the intense suffering of sick people. Euthanasia, he argued, is not a medical response to a patient's suffering.

In the same magazine article, a spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church also spoke out against euthanasia. Father Vsevolod Chaplin stated: “From the Christian point of view, it is completely immoral to assist someone to commit suicide." The death of every human person is in God's hand, he said: "Doctors and lawyers alone may not decide the issue.”

On April 17, the upper house of Russia’s parliament began debate on a legislation to permit euthanasia for people who are suffering from an incurable illness. The bill would permit euthanasia after a sick person has appeared before a notary to certify his intention and undergone two months of medical examinations.


Teachings of Christ

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10 ESV)

Pentecost

Blessed are You, O Christ our God, * Who has shown the fishermen to be all wise, * by sending down to them the Holy Spirit, * and through them You have caught the whole world in Your net. * O Lover of Mankind, glory to You. (Troparion - Tone 8)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

When the Most High descended, confusing tongues, * He divided the nations; * but when He distributed the tongues of fire, * He called all to unity; * and, with one voice, * we glorify the Most Holy Spirit. (Kontakion - Tone 8)

Saints and Martyrs

Adorned with the blood of Your Martyrs throughout the world, * as with purple and fine linen, * Your Church cries out to You through them: * "Send down Your compassions upon Your people. * Grant peace to Your commonwealth and great mercy to our souls." (Troparion - Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

As the first-fruits of nature to the Planter of Creation, * the whole world offers to You, O Lord, the God-bearing martyrs. * Through their prayers and the intercession of the Mother of God * preserve Your commonwealth, the Church, in profound peace, O Most Merciful One. (Kontakion - Tone 8)

Random Proverb

"Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you." (Proverbs 3:28 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Therefore let us leave untouched the senseless speculations of the masses and the false doctrines, and turn to the teaching delivered to us in the beginning, let us be temperate and ready for our prayers, persevere in fasting, and fervently implore the All-seeing God not to expose us to temptations, since the Lord has said: 'The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.'

St. Polycarp, Epistle to the Philippians