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.