One of the world’s most highly regarded religious leaders, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu of South Africa has stated in a video message: “People who are terminally ill should have the option of dignified and compassionate assisted dying alongside the wonderful palliative care that already exists”.  “I pray that lawmakers, politicians and religious leaders have the courage to support choices terminally ill citizens make in departing Mother Earth with dignity and love.”

 

Ian Wood, spokesperson for the Australian group, Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Euthanasia, said “I am delighted to learn that Archbishop Tutu is willing to give his blessing and support to our Christian campaign for legislation to allow the option of compassionate choice for a person who is terminally or incurably ill with intolerable suffering.”

 

“The Archbishop recognises the enormous value of palliative care, yet, as do all those who advocate Voluntary Assisted Dying, he also understands that the best palliative care cannot adequately relieve all futile suffering”, said Mr Wood.

 

Mr Wood continued: “It is significant that Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, UK, and head of the Anglican Church worldwide, had previously sent a personal message to Annie Gabrielides.”  Lord Carey said: ’I support this Statement [of clergy support for Anne and voluntary assisted dying] strongly and would love my name to be added. Do tell Anne that she is very much in my thoughts and prayers. Annie, whose health is deteriorating rapidly due to the ravages of Motor Neurone Disease, is the ‘face’ of of the Voluntary Assisted Dying effort in NSW.

 

“I urge our NSW and Victorian MPs to seriously consider four important points in relation to the respective Voluntary Assisted Dying Bills in each state”, said Mr Wood.

 

These are.

-Please read the Bill relevant to your state.

-Please study the Victorian Ministerial Panel Report on Assisted Dying as it details the reasons behind the 66 recommendations the Panel made.

-Please consider the FACTS before voting, not the fear mongering of those opposing

– Please remember when voting that in a democracy you are representing the conscience of your voters, and vote Yes, to give us this basic human right, a say in the way we die.