Why Patients Don´t Need to Hear Talk of Euthanasia

How a Cancer Sufferer Sees It

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MIAMI, Florida, JUNE 22, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Offering euthanasia as an option makes a patient feel like a burden for his loved ones, a terminally ill pro-lifer says.



Magaly Llaguno, who suffers from cancer, has dedicated her life to promoting respect for human life.

In 1972 Llaguno, a Cuban refugee in the United States since 1959, founded the International Pro-Life Committee. At present, she is director of Human Life International for Latin America.

"I am in the final stages of a type of cancer called multiple myeloma, which is very painful, and is now refractory," that is, not responding to chemotherapy, Llaguno said in a testimony sent to ZENIT.

"Judging from my feelings, and that of those around me, I can tell you that depression is a common situation in these circumstances," she states.

"However, what a patient needs is not someone who will ´help´ him to commit suicide, which, by the way, leads the person ´helping,´ to commit murder," she adds. "I sincerely think that anyone who is offered this ´quick, cheap and easy solution´ is going to begin to feel like a heavy burden on his loved ones and on society."

According to Llaguno, a terminally ill patient "can even feel pushed or obliged to choose suicide."

"Since what we need is a positive attitude so that our immune system will work properly, and so that our body in general will be healed or at least improve in health, a negative, pro-death attitude in those around us only makes things more difficult," she says.

Llaguno says terminal patients need "real" and not "apparent compassion," such as the one "offered to us by those promoting assisted suicide and euthanasia."

She concludes: "We need a friendly ear, a kind word every now and then but, above all, we need compassionate love from those around us."