THINKING ANGLICANS

CofE response to Nuffield

The newspaper stories on this were reported earlier.

The response of the Church of England’s Mission and Public Affairs Council to the Nuffield Council on Bioethics Consultation on Critical care decisions in fetal and neonatal medicine: ethical issues can be read in full here.

The preamble states:

Please note that :

  • The Church of England’s submission to the Nuffield Inquiry is entirely in keeping with the Church’s policy on treatment at the beginning and end of life (see Euthanasia and Suicide)
  • The submission stated that fetuses and newborns should only have treatment withheld or withdrawn if treatment is futile.
  • We believe firmly that every life is valued and loved by God equally.

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Christopher Shell
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Christopher Shell

My main concern is that there seems to be a worrying correlation between the bishops who are uncaring enough to play fast and loose with the very lives of other people’s loved ones and those bishops who show themselves unfeeling or heartless in other ways. For example: in the 1980s Abp Habgood was not felt to be the warmest of individuals (tho’ a good brain) and pre Carey’s appointment a statement was issued to this effect by those who feared he would be transferred to Canterbury. Likewise now the type of bishop who is associated with this (Harries, Butler) are… Read more »

mynsterpreost
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mynsterpreost

Dr Shell — don’t you think that’s a bit of a sweeping statement? Or are you a ghost writer for the ‘People’s Friend’? (explanatory note to statesiders – http://www.uniquemagazines.co.uk/magazine-subscription-1250/Peoples-Friend-magazine/Peoples-Friend-magazine-subscription.html

As my old training incumbent said, ‘Just because you’ve found Jesus doesn’t mean you have to lose your marbles.’ And some allegedly ‘warm hearted’ folk have atrocious pastoral skills — having been on the receiving end of +GC’s ‘warm heart’ when looking for a first incumbency, I’d far rather have had +JH looking after me.

Sean Doherty
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The submission certainly didn’t warrant the Mail’s OTT headline, but it is still quite disturbing that a CofE document can buy into consequentialism (‘compassion’ overruling the commandment not to kill as if the command is somehow not in keeping with the obligation to love one’s neighbour!) and forget the strand in Christian tradition which recognises that sin can be omission and neglect to offer care and meet needs, not just direct action to do harm.