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The long death – La Stampa

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Commenting on the story of the Marches quadriplegic who was granted assisted suicide, Eugenia Roccella, a woman for whom I feel affection and esteem, identified the cultural goal: to destroy the idea of ​​the intangibility of life. I immediately remembered a sentence I had just read, and written by Seneca two thousand years ago in a letter to his friend Lucilio: learn to die rather than kill. The intangibility of life, I believe, lies entirely in that sentence, because intangible is the life that does not belong to us, that is, the life of others. But here the distance between those who believe and those who do not believe becomes irremediable. Those who believe in God know that not even their own life belongs to them, Monsignor Suetta said frankly to this newspaper, it does not belong to society or to the individual, it belongs to God and it is God who knows when it begins and when it ends (I hope not to having proposed too cheap a synthesis). But those who do not believe in God believe in the utmost freedom to dispose of their own life. And I have always found it disastrously paradoxical that anyone – who has a relationship with God or not – can dispose of his life as long as he has his body, but if he does not have his body, like the quadriplegic from Marche, he is also prevented from disposing of his life. . Since there is no God in my heart, I console myself with the words of Seneca, for which we have a reason not to complain about life: it holds no one, and the wise live as much as he owes not as much as he can. We must learn to die, he said, because in some cases prolonging life means prolonging death. Extending death to those who cannot give it to themselves, this seems inhumane to me.

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