Date of Award
Master of Theological Studies (MTS)
There are many issues involved in end of life decisions. The winds of modern culture are blowing strongly in the direction of assisted suicide. Proponents of this cause have strongly held positions on personal independence, pain avoidance, “compassion”, and financial considerations.
Those who minister to the dying and their families want to assist in this final stage of the human journey. How can Catholic teaching on the subject of a “natural death” be presented as loving and compassionate to a world that often views the end of life in despair and hopeless suffering?
While dying experiences may vary, most questions at the end of life are the same. Are we doing the right thing? Whose decision is this? Is the medical care appropriate? What’s the role of the doctor; the priest; the family?
The Catholic perspective is always life affirming yet often misunderstood. It is important to frame this teaching and its theology in such a way that those who minister to the dying demonstrate that no one walks the final leg of this journey alone.
Rotherham, Gregory K., "Until Natural Death: Ministry to the dying – Catholic teaching and the assisted suicide movement" (2016). Master of Theological Studies Theses. Paper 4.