558 Part Three lence itself will be vanquished and these words will be fulfilled: “they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” 112 IN BRIEF 2318 “In [God’s] hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind” ( Job 12:10). 2319 Every human life, from the moment of conception until death, is sacred because the human person has been willed for its own sake in the image and likeness of the living and holy God. 2320 The murder of a human being is gravely contrary to the dignity of the person and the holiness of the Creator. 2321 The prohibition of murder does not abrogate the right to render an unjust aggressor unable to inflict harm. Legitimate defense is a grave duty for whoever is responsible for the lives of others or the common good. 2322 From its conception, the child has the right to life. Direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, is a “criminal” practice ( GS 27 § 3), grave ly contrary to the moral law. The Church imposes the canonical penalty of excommunication for this crime against human life. 2323 Because it should be treated as a person from concep tion, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed like every other human being. 2324 Intentional euthanasia, whatever its forms or motives, is murder. It is gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator. 2325 Suicide is seriously contrary to justice, hope, and charity. It is forbidden by the fifth commandment. 2326 Scandal is a grave offense when by deed or omission it deliberately leads others to sin gravely. 112 GS 78 § 6; cf. Isa 2:4.