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A Vatican bioethics official on Tuesday condemned the death by assisted suicide of Brittany Maynard, a terminally ill American who died over the weekend, as an undignified "absurdity." "This woman (took her own life) thinking she would die with dignity, but this is the error," Monsignor Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, told the Italian news agency Ansa. "Suicide is not a good thing. It is a bad thing because it is saying no to life and to everything it means with respect to our mission in the world and towards those around us," the head of the Vatican think tank on life issues said in a report on the Ansa website.
Maynard, 29, became the face of the right-to-die movement after she was diagnosed in January with a brain tumor and announced plans to take medication to die on Nov. 1. The Roman Catholic Church opposes euthanasia and assisted suicide, teaching that life starts at the moment of conception and should end at the moment of natural death.