The Church of England has put of a web site to explain their opposition to assisted suicide. Here’s a pit of the intro:
Protecting Life – opposing Assisted Suicide
Produced by Mission and Public Affairs, in association with the Communications Office
The Church of England is opposed to any change in the law, or medical practice, to make assisted suicide permissible or acceptable.
Suffering, the Church maintains, must be met with compassion, commitment to high-quality services and effective medication; meeting it by assisted suicide is merely removing it in the crudest way possible.
In its March 2009 paper Assisted Dying/Suicide and Voluntary Euthanasia, the Church acknowledges the complexity of the issues: the compassion that motivates those who seek change equally motivates the Church’s opposition to change.
Principles behind this position
- Personal autonomy and the protection of life are both important principles that are often complementary but sometimes compete.
- Personal autonomy must be principled and not without regard to others.
- Protection of life should take priority when there is a conflict between the two.
- When protection of life is impossible that does not undermine these principles.
- Every human being is uniquely and equally valuable, hence human rights are built on the foundation of the ‘right to life’, as is much of the criminal code.
- An obligation on society, doctors and nurses, to take life or to assist in the taking of life would create a new and unwelcome role for society.