Archbishop John Sentamu—Assisted Suicide: There must be no slippery slope

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A truly caring society would not devalue or pressurise its most vulnerable and frailest members. There would always be a danger, if the law was weakened, that people could feel obliged to end their lives if they believed they were becoming a burden on loved ones. This is not something we should encourage – indeed, it is something which should be, and has been, legislated against.

The Church of England has consistently argued – and Parliament has consistently voted – against any change in the law governing assisted suicide. Guidance from the Director of Public Prosecutions about the application of the present law to particular circumstances has the potential to provide greater clarity and is in principle to be welcomed, so long as there can be confidence that it will not in practice lead to an erosion of respect for the present law. It is Parliament, the people in the Commons and Lords who stand up for the views of everyone living in the UK, that should always decide on changes that need to be made to our laws. Parliament is the highest court in the land.

There are serious moral, ethical and practical issues to consider – for example in relation to concepts such as "encouragement" and "coercion".

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of York John Sentamu* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

Posted September 27, 2009 at 3:26 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]
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