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JPII om åldrandet

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Publicerad den 13 april 2020 14:02. Läs inlägget på bloggen här.

Då jag nyss korsade gränsen till 70-plus-åldern, blev Johannes Paulus lilla essä om vördnaden för det grå håret plötsligt mer aktuell. Här är delar av essän i engelsk översättning:TO THE ELDERLY1999
To my elderly brothers and sisters!“Seventy is the sum of our years,or eighty if we are strong,and most of them are fruitless toil,for they pass quickly and we drift away” (Ps 90:10)

Guardians of shared memory9. In the past, great respect was shown to the elderly. “Great was once the reverence given to a hoary head”, says Ovid, the Latin poet. (13) Centuries earlier, the Greek poet Phocylides had admonished: “Respect grey hair: give to the elderly sage the same signs of respect that you give your own father”. (14)And what of today? If we stop to consider the current situation, we see that among some peoples old age is esteemed and valued, while among others this is much less the case, due to a mentality which gives priority to immediate human usefulness and productivity. Such an attitude frequently leads to contempt for the later years of life, while older people themselves are led to wonder whether their lives are still worthwhile.It has come to the point where euthanasia is increasingly put forward as a solution for difficult situations. Unfortunately, in recent years the idea of euthanasia has lost for many people the sense of horror which it naturally awakens in those who have a sense of respect for life. Certainly it can happen that, when grave illness involves unbearable suffering, the sick are tempted to despair and their loved ones or those responsible for their care feel compelled by a misguided compassion to consider the solution of “an easy death” as something reasonable. Here it should be kept in mind that the moral law allows the rejection of “aggressive medical treatment” (15) and makes obligatory only those forms of treatment which fall within the normal requirements of medical care, which in the case of terminal illness ... Läs mer...

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