Thursday, August 27, 2015

Assisted dying: the debate in England

The Telegraph has the latest:
‘There is nothing sacred about suffering’, insist faith leaders in assisted dying call--Bishops, priests and leading Rabbis break ranks with mainstream religious case opposition to assisted dying

"Religious teachings that elevate suffering and pain as something “sacred” should not be used to prevent terminally ill people taking their own lives, leading Christian and Jewish clerics have insisted.

"An alliance of bishops, priests and rabbis have broken ranks with the religious establishment to voice support for plans to change the law to allow a form of assisted suicide in the UK for the first time.

"In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, they argue that far from being a sin, helping terminally ill people to commit suicide should be viewed simply as enabling them to “gracefully hand back” their lives to God.

"There is, they insist “nothing sacred” about suffering in itself and no one should be “obliged to endure it”, they insist.

"Signatories of the letter, in support of a bill to be debated by MPs next month, include Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, who stunned the Church of England last year when he announced that he had changed his mind on the issue.
"MPs are due to debate an Assisted Dying Bill tabled by the Labour backbencher Rob Marris next month.

"It would allow people thought to have no more than six months to live and a “settled intention” to end their life to be allowed be given a lethal dose of drugs on the authority of two doctors.

While most of the major religious groups in the UK have voiced opposition, some polls suggest a majority of people who identify themselves with a faith are in favour of relaxing the law."

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