The European Court of Human Rights has backed an earlier decision by a court in France to allow a 39-year-old paralyzed man to be taken off life support by request of his wife. The man's Roman Catholic parents have strongly opposed the decision, however, stating they are against euthanasia.
BBC News reported that Vincent Lambert has been in a coma for seven years following a motorcycle accident, which left him tetraplegic, or without the use of his limbs and torso.
Although euthanasia is illegal in France, a 2005 passive euthanasia law allows doctors to withdraw care from patients, which effectively ends their life. more >>
World-renowned physicist and professor Stephen Hawking, 73, who suffers from a rare early-onset of a slow-progressing form of Lou Gehrig's disease that has slowly paralyzed him over several decades, says he would be open to ending his life by assisted suicide if he became a burden.
In an interview with Dara O'Briain for a new BBC program highlighted by The Telegraph, Hawking reveals that he has suffered bouts of loneliness, because people can be afraid to talk to him or let him answer. Due to his illness, Hawking communicates using a single cheek muscle attached to a speech-generating device.
"To keep someone alive against their wishes is the ultimate indignity," Hawking told O'Briain in the interview set to air on BBC One June 15. more >>
After allegedly calling Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas an "angel of peace" over two weeks ago, Pope Francis reportedly asserted last week that anyone who does not recognize Israel as the Jewish state is anti-Semitic.
The Times of Israel reports that in an email sent to Portuguese-Israeli journalist Henrique Cymerman last Thursday, the pontiff equated anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism as one in the same.
Pope Francis has said that leaving migrants to die in the Mediterranean sea, such as the fate of thousands in the past few years, is similar to the "scourge" of abortion and euthanasia. The pontiff spoke out at a meeting of the Italian Science and Life Association, where he warned against several "attacks against life."
"The scourge of abortion is an attack on life. Leaving our brothers on the boats in the Sicilian channel is an attack on life. Death at work is an attack on life because it does not respect the minimal security conditions," Francis said, according to an article on LifeNews on Monday.
"The love of Christ urges us to become servants of the small ones and the elderly, of every man and every woman, through which the primordial right to life is recognized and protected." more >>
A group of female priests within the Church of England is calling for more gender-neutral language to be used when referring to God in church services, in what it says is a campaign for equality between men and women in the church.
"Orthodox theology says all human beings are made in the image of God, that God does not have a gender. He encompasses gender — He is both male and female and beyond male and female. So when we only speak of God in the male form, that's actually giving us a deficient understanding of who God is," said Rev. Jody Stowell, a member of Women and the Church group, according to The Guardian.
The Rev. Emma Percy, chaplain of Trinity College Oxford and a member of WATCH, added that both male and female language should be used in church services, in order to distance the church from "the notion that God is some kind of old man in the sky." more >>
Naghmeh, the wife of U.S. Pastor Saeed Abedini, recently traveled to Europe and urged officials there, including at the European Parliament, to raise the case of her husband, who has been in a jail in Iran for his Christian faith. Most officials promptly called for Saeed's release.
During her trip, Naghmeh first went to the German Parliament, where she addressed the Federal Human Rights Committee and met with numerous lawmakers committed to advocating for religious freedom, according to the American Center for Law and Justice.
Naghmeh then met with leaders from Germany's two leading parties, the Protestant Committee of the Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union, ACLJ said Saturday. The two parties issued a joint press release calling for Pastor Saeed's release. more >>