Monday, November 29, 2010

Canada's Debate

The government of Quebec has designated six months for debate of a proposed assisted suicide law. A series of panels are being held to allow doctors, family members, and the dying to tell their stories. In an article for Canada's CBCNews, Lorna Dueck writes the following:

For centuries, Christianity has been prime source material for teaching how to love and care for family and strangers in pain.

Of course we need to be honest with those looking to our distinct truth and what we mean by hope.

For two millennia we Christians have said that this body on Earth is but a shadow of the future self that God has waiting for us after death and we need to regain our practice of how to explain and engage that truth with the reality of dying.

That belief helps us understand that there is no purpose to keeping Grandma, son, daughter or self clinging to life support when a greater beauty comes next.

In debates such as this, how great is our loss if we withdraw the contribution of faith from our collective education and view only individualism as the better way to face the perils of death.

As surely as we wrestle through the physical steps of death, particularly on an issue as fraught with emotion as euthanasia, so will we need to come to terms with the spiritual journey.

Read more:

Labels: , ,

Aiding Assisted Suicide in Britain, Reviewing the Laws

Meanwhile (see prior post), Britain has created a committee that will review their laws regarding family members and friends who help loved ones travel outside the country for assisted suicide.

The move follows a number of cases in which British people have travelled with friends or family to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland, where terminally ill people are able to end their lives. Although police investigated the cases, none were taken to court. Last year, Debbie Purdy, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, won an historic judgment in the House of Lords that said she had a human right to know if her husband would face prosecution in such circumstances.

Falconer told the Observer: "It is probably a criminal offence to travel with someone to Switzerland to help them to die and yet it is so obvious that nobody on any side of the argument has the stomach to prosecute people like, for example, Dan James's parents." He was referring to the case of the 23-year-old whose parents helped him commit suicide after he was paralysed in a rugby accident.

Christian groups have already accused the commission of being biased.

Labels: , ,

Assisted Suicide in Scotland

The Scottish Parliament will vote on December 1 on a bill introduced by Margo MacDonald that would legalize assisted suicide.

Ms MacDonald, whose End of Life Assistance Bill faces a crucial vote in the Scottish Parliament next week, revealed details of a poll showing 77% of Scots agreed people with “intolerable terminal illnesses” should have the option of being helped to end their life.

Just 12% said they did not agree while 11% said they did not know.

A total of 1001 Scots were questioned for the survey, which was carried out for the Green Party in April by polling company Angus Reid Public Opinion.

The proposed legislation has split opinion with doctors’ leaders and religious groups opposed to it.

For more, read here.

Labels: , ,