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Vatican hosts conference on palliative care, prenatal hospice, abortion and euthanasia

The Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life held a two-day conference with speakers from around the world, speaking on the right to life. Topics include palliative care, prenatal hospice, abortion and euthanasia.

Two speakers were Byron Calhoun, a specialist in Maternal and Fetal Medicine and Mary Carroll Sullivan, the Chief Healthcare Ethicist at the Archdiocese of Boston.

They especially spoke of the current, vocal abortion debate in the United States.

Specialist in Maternal and Fetal Medicine
“The importance of the debate is once again, reaffirm the ideas that that life is sacred, and to parse out the discussion between people of different opinions, and to come to some sort of a consensus on the idea that if you look scientifically, life actually does begin scientifically at conception. Perhaps that's the biggest discussion that we can come to, at this point, in the scientific facts, not just the emotion on both sides.”

Chief Healthcare Ethicist, Archdioces of Boston
“When we look at this rash of legislation, you just have to ask yourself, who is pushing this and why we're being told that it's a good thing for women? “I'm here to say, as a nurse, it's not been done and not been done for a reason. It strikes me that there's so much potential danger to a woman to to have to kill and then remove a baby that is full term. That is something that I won't get too graphic here.”

Ms. Sullivan explained many risks with late-term abortions include a perforation of the uterus, hemorrhage by hitting a major artery and infections, just to name just a few.

The speakers did not only express a desire to protect mothers and children, but those who could have their life ended with euthanasia.

Founder, President of “Il Cuore in una Goccia” Onlus
“We have examples in some countries where euthanasia is used for children and also for adults. Laws have been made in a quasi-legal manner. The result of this is a revertion backward. Management of the final phase of life is often done with the approximation and unimportance.”

The conference presented the Catholic Church's belief to uphold the dignity of life by expressing the importance of those children born with serious illnesses. They desire that every person in his or her dignity has an opportunity to grow in love, in reciprocal care and in unity with others.