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Sin Against God': Pope Gives His Thoughts on Right to Die Debate

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"False sense of compassion"

Pope Francis delivers his blessing at the end of a special audience he held for members of Catholic medical associations, in the Paul VI hall, at the Vatican, Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has denounced the right to die movement, saying it's a "false sense of compassion" to consider euthanasia as an act of dignity when in fact it's a sin against God and creation.

Francis made the comments Saturday to the Association of Italian Catholic Doctors.

Earlier this month, the Vatican's top bioethics official condemned as "reprehensible" the assisted suicide of an American woman, Brittany Maynard, who was suffering terminal brain cancer and said she wanted to die with dignity.

Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old terminally ill woman who planned to die under Oregon's law that allows the terminally ill to end their own lives. The Vatican's top bioethics official calls "reprehensible" the suicide of an American woman suffering terminal brain cancer who stated she wanted to die with dignity. Monsignor Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, the head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, reportedly said Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014 that "dignity is something other than putting an end to one's own life." Brittany Maynard's suicide in Oregon on Saturday, following a public declaration of her motives aimed at sparking political action on the issue, has stirred debate over assisted suicide for the terminally ill. (AP/Maynard Family, File) Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old woman, took her own life recently under Oregon's law that allows the terminally ill to end their own lives. The Vatican's top bioethics official calls "reprehensible" the suicide of an American woman suffering terminal brain cancer who stated she wanted to die with dignity. (AP/Maynard Family)

Francis didn't refer to the Maynard case specifically. He also condemned abortion, in vitro fertilization (or "the scientific production of a child") and embryonic stem cell research (or "using human beings as laboratory experiments to presumably save others.")

Pope Francis caresses a baby at the end of a special audience he held for members of Catholic medical associations, in the Paul VI hall, at the Vatican, Saturday. (AP/Andrew Medichini) Pope Francis caresses a baby at the end of a special audience he held for members of Catholic medical associations, in the Paul VI hall, at the Vatican, Saturday. (AP/Andrew Medichini)

He said: "This is playing with life."

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