Life after death
The human body is mortal, whereas the soul and spirit are immortal. After the death of the body, a human being continues to live on as an entity consisting of soul and spirit. Death does not put an end to human personhood. This personhood is then expressed through soul and spirit.
At the resurrection of the dead, soul and spirit will be united with a resurrection body.
Life, beginning and end
Human life begins with fertilisation and ends with brain death. It must be protected and may not be actively terminated. Two points in time cannot be unequivocally determined: the moment of ensoulment and the moment when the soul separates from the body. In order to protect human life, the Church assumes that ensoulment takes place at the moment of conception and that the separation of body and soul takes place at brain death.
Every human being has the right to die with dignity. Euthanasia and palliative care concerns the dying person for whom there is no prospect of a cure or an improvement in their suffering. From a Christian perspective this can only take the form of assistance and support for the dying person and never to help someone to die. Active euthanasia as well as assisted suicide are rejected.
Allowing a person to die by refusing life-extending interventions and palliative pain control and sedation for the purpose of symptom control, which carries a small risk of shortening life, are not contrary to Christian principles. Particularly in the context of the Christian view of human life, palliative medical care is of great importance. The help and support provided by those close to the dying person and pastoral care in light of the gospel can lessen anxiety and mobilise spiritual strength.
A living will can help to care for the dying person in a way that respects their wishes.