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Choice to take own life is 'reprehensible' - Vatican

A TOP Vatican official has described Brittany Maynard's decision to end her own life as "reprehensible".

The American woman was suffering from terminal brain cancer and said she wanted to die with dignity.

Monsignor Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, the head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said that "dignity is something other than putting an end to one's own life".

Brittany's suicide in Oregon, 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.

Carrasco de Paula said: "Brittany Maynard's act is in itself reprehensible, but what happened in the consciousness we do not know."

He cautioned that he was not judging individuals "but the gesture in and of itself should be condemned".