Thinking Anglicans

Assisted Dying Bill

The House of Lords is today debating Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill.

Today’s Guardian carries these three articles

John Inge, Bishop of Worcester, My wife knew she was dying – but she chose life
Andrew Brown Legalising assisted dying will put too much pressure on people, says bishop
editorial The Guardian view on assisted dying: safeguard life

But not all clergy oppose the bill.

John Bingham The Telegraph Bishop: uphold sanctity of life by allowing assisted dying
Patrick Sawer The Telegraph Anglican leadership accused of “scaremongering” over assisted dying

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The Revd Canon Peter EdwardsStephen WChris HLettie JamesPeter K+ Recent comment authors
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Father David
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Father David

Now, there’s a surprise! The bishop in favour of assisted dying is none other than the Bishop of Buckingham.

Peter K+
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Peter K+

As soon as I saw the headline I thought ‘Alan Wilson’ – and I was right!!

Lettie James
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Lettie James

I comment as a former Director of Pastoral Care at a large city hospital. I did this for 24 years. During that time my ministry included patients in four I.C.Us. with different specialties. I was and am a member of the hospital ethics committee. It is obvious that there are very strong views on both sides of this question. Those views seem to be based on emotion, personal experience, morality, sometimes unthought through theology and various other sources. They would all appear to be reasonable and valid arguments. Medical ethics are not absolute. Sometimes the answer is ‘Yes’ and sometimes… Read more »

Lettie James
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Lettie James

Mea culpa: I meant to say, ‘In the ultimate it is what is in the best interests ofthe patient that decides, not what we as a society or a church decides.’

Lettie James

Chris H
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Chris H

Unfortunately what a person believes is very strongly influenced by society around them. Most people’s value and worth are greatly tied to the opinion of those around them. If a person’s family or caretakers make them feel a burden, they will be pressured to end it to save those around them the trouble, even if those caretakers never actually say it. That is why so many of the disabled are against it. They know the pressure, the people who say, “I’d never be able to live if I had to live like you”. I also think that a comment on… Read more »

Stephen W
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Stephen W

Are the Bishop of Buckingham’s views really as garbled as they appear in the DT article? Assume it was an interview since not on his blog … Anyone help with:

“There are arguments for assisted suicide which I think is more than that and different and that’s the issue that Mrs Nicklinson raises.

The Revd Canon Peter Edwards
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The Revd Canon Peter Edwards

I am interested by the use of Suicide in the concept of a Physician Assisted death. If this Bill were called Assisted Manslaughter, would it not change the axis of opinion? Next week I shall be conducting two funerals of people who have died from chronic cancers, both of whom became ‘agitated’ during the last days of their lives. Each was given a ‘sedative’ injection with the agreement of their families, in order to bring them (the patients) ‘peace’ and ‘sleep’. Both died within 10 hours of receiving that ‘sedative’. It would be deemed a bit too near the knuckle… Read more »