Kościół i Prawo 1 (14) 2012: 209-218

Crime of euthanasia in the catholic Church legislation


Magdalena Tacikowska


doktorantka, Wydział Prawa Kanonicznego, Uniwersytet Kardynała Stefana Wyszyńskiego w Warszawie

ul. Dewajtis 5, 01-815 Warszawa, Poland


The following article addresses the issues connected to euthanasia in the light of canon law. It presents the stance of the Roman Catholic Church, which objects to putting the sick to death for any reason whatsoever.

First, the author emphasizes the fact that the Roman Catholic Church has based its stance on the truths from the Holy Bible.

Next, the latest church statements on the matter are presented. The first cited document, the Pastoral constitution on the Church in the modern world Gaudium et spes (1965), calls for mutual respect and helping others and describes euthanasia as an offense against human life.

The second discussed document, Declaration on Euthanasia issued by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Iura et bona (1980), stresses the deadly character of euthanasia and states that it unlawful in any form and any case; it also elaborates on the question of guilt.

Then the author familiarizes the reader with the Code of Canon Law (1983). The document calls euthanasia a crime and determines forms of punishment for having performed euthanasia and conditions to the existence of criminal liability.

Finally, the article discusses the Catechism of The Catholic Church (1994), a document which examines the problem of euthanasia as a sin against the fifth commandment.


Słowa kluczowe: eutanazja, śmierć, przestępstwo eutanazji, grzech ciężki, dobra śmierć

Key words: euthanasia, death, crime of euthanasia, mortal sin, good death

Autor: Magdalena Sawa
Ostatnia aktualizacja: 04.02.2015, godz. 08:06 - Mirosław Sitarz