Concerning government and euthanasia.
"Government is an instrument of force that exists to ensure that every individual respects the equal rights of every other individual in society."
"I think you can only legislate against something if it is a violation of another person's will or property."
I would be interested to hear how you connect these two statements. It seems to me that if the purpose of a government is to keep some from violating others' rights, and it can only do this if another person's will or property is violated, then people only have rights concerning property and what they desire. I don't want to put words in your mouth, however, so please clarify if this does not suffice.
It is true that law cannot change people's minds. Converting hearts is the ideal, and this the government cannot do, but it does have other (though lesser) duties. John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae spoke on this. He said:
"Civil law must ensure that all members of society enjoy respect for certain fundamental rights which innately belong to the person, rights which every positive law must recognize and guarantee. First and fundamental among these is the inviolable right to life of every innocent human being. While public authority can sometimes choose not to put a stop to something which--were it prohibited--would cause more serious harm, it can never presume to legitimize as a right of individuals--even if they are the majority of the members of society--an offence against other persons caused by the disregard of so fundamental a right as the right to life. The legal toleration of abortion or of euthanasia can in no way claim to be based on respect for the conscience of others, precisely because society has the right and the duty to protect itself against the abuses which can occur in the name of conscience and under the pretext of freedom."
I would like to emphasize the section in which he says even toleration of an evil cannot be legitimized as a right. This seems to directly contradict what you are saying. You say civil law can only interfere when a person's will is contradicted. However, John Paul II teaches that humans have certain inviolate rights from God that must be protected by law, that even the individual does not have the right to deny. Do you agree that men have such rights?
John Paul II continues:
"The doctrine on the necessary conformity of civil law with the moral law is in continuity with the whole tradition of the Church. This is clear once more from John XXIII's Encyclical:
'Authority is a postulate of the moral order and derives from God. . .'
Now the first and most immediate application of this teaching concerns a human law which disregards the fundamental right and source of all other rights which is the right to life, a right belonging to every individual. Consequently, laws which legitimize the direct killing of innocent human beings through abortion or euthanasia are in complete opposition to the inviolable right to life proper to every individual; they thus deny the equality of everyone before the law. It might be objected that such is not the case in euthanasia, when it is requested with full awareness by the person involved. But any State which made such a request legitimate and authorized it to be carried out would be legalizing a case of suicide-murder, contrary to the fundamental principles of absolute respect for life and of the protection of every innocent life. In this way the State contributes to lessening respect for life and opens the door to ways of acting which are destructive of trust in relations between people."
Government is a human institution, and thus is bound to follow and promote the natural law. It is true that it must decide how to prudently do this. You belittle an imposed morality, but I don't see why it is such a bad thing that the government tries to prevent people from commiting evil acts of a grave and harmful nature that contradict the natural law. (Please note the word "grave"--I am not saying the government should control everything.) Frankly, I think that it is a good thing even if the individual doesn't understand why, for two reasons: first, it stops a crime, and second because it will be easier for the person to develope a sense of morality if they are living in conformity with the natural law. Law is supposed to make people good. How can it do this if it contradicts the natural law?