Musings of an Anglican/Episcopal Priest

Tag: assisted suicide

Bravo to the C of E: The Church of England speaks out against assisted suicide

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.

{Read it all}

First Things » Blog Archive » Abandoning the Frightened and Depressed

A disturbing piece from First Things, but it needs to be read.

A story just published in the UK’s Guardian is a diary account of the euthanasia death of Mieneke Weide-Boelkes, a woman with brain cancer, written by her son Marc Weide, who made it public. As such, and because it is so awful, it seemed to me that public comment is warranted.

The story of Weide-Boelkes’ euthanasia amply demonstrates the abandonment that assisted suicide/euthanasia consciousness generates in society, within medicine, and among families. And it proves clearly that the “protective guidelines” are utterly meaningless. It also demonstrates that once mercy killing is sanctioned, families become almost remote bystanders to their loved one’s end.

To cases: One of the supposed requirements of Dutch euthanasia is that there can be no other way to alleviate suffering other than killing the patient. Yet, in this actual case, the woman who would soon be dead wants to die for fear of going bald during life-extending chemotherapy. From the story:

The prognosis is she could live another year if she undergoes chemotherapy. But she won’t. “I’m not going to go bald,” she says. “I don’t want people saying, ‘How sad, that beautiful hair all gone.’ Never.”

Despite the ability to extend Weide-Boelkes’ life, and the driving motives of worries that she will not be pretty (and hence not worthy of being loved?), and fears about losing the ability to engage in enjoyable activities as the reasons for wanting euthanasia, the doctor agrees to kill.

{Read it all.}

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