Tag: Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Archbishop Desmond Tutu gives his blessing to the Voluntary Assisted Dying campaign in Australia.

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, Continue reading

Ian Wood response to Catholic Bishop Ingham. “Euthanasia: Bishop says there’s no need.”

In recent weeks nearby papers the Wollondilly Advertiser, the Camden Advertiser and the Macquarie Advertiser in NSW have run a series of articles on Voluntary Assisted Dying Choice. Most of them have been in support. The one exception, as we might expect, is from the Catholic Bishop Ingham of Wollongong. His opinion piece may be found here. http://www.wollondillyadvertiser.com.au/story/4842391/euthanasia-bishop-says-theres-no-need/

This is my response.

So Bishop Ingham believes advances in palliative care and pain management should negate the argument for the option for a dying patient, facing futile unnecessary suffering, to have a choice to end that suffering.

He does not say so, but we can assume he is adhering to the Catholic doctrine that suffering can be redemptive.

Nurse Barnes disputes the Bishop’s claim!

My name is Jen Barnes and I am a nurse of 40 years. I’ve seen a lot of deaths and some of them have been far from ideal. Now I have a terminal illness. It’s an aggressive form of brain cancer and I know that it can lead to a very undignified death.

I don’t want to die. No-one wants to die.

Palliative care is very good but I know that it doesn’t work for everybody. If it comes to it, I will want another option. [Voluntary Assisted Dying]

It’s very important to me to have control of my destiny.

(Abridged) Source: http://www.stopvictorianssuffering.org.au/petition_jen_barnes

Equally important, the Bishop’s claim about palliative care is not supported by Palliative Care’s own data; Inpatients during the terminal phase of their terminal illness: 4.2% report severe distress from breathing problems, 4.6% severe distress from fatigue, and 2.6% report severe distress from pain.

Experience in Oregon, USA, with assisted dying choice for 20 years, shows repeatedly that paradoxically many patients live longer when given the ‘green light’ for assistance. It is palliative in its own right. It is voluntary – the patient has to rationally and repeatedly ask for this assistance.

The issue is all about choice. Not a choice between life and death, but a choice between two ways of dying. Bishop Ingham is entitled to not request assistance for himself, but should not be entitled to use his position to deny other Australians their right to choose.

Governor Jerry Brown of California sums up the option very succinctly. Gov. Brown is a committed Catholic, who had formerly trained as a Jesuit, and as Governor he actually had the right to veto a California Bill allowing voluntary assisted dying.

Instead, in a very rational and compassionate letter, he concluded –

“In the end, I was left to reflect on what I would want in the face of my own death.  I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain. I am certain, however, that it would be a comfort to be able to consider the options afforded by this bill. And I wouldn’t deny that right to others.”

Readers may note that Gov. Brown received support for signing this Bill from Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, one of the world’s most esteemed religious leaders.

Ian Wood   11.8.2017

A plea to clergy of any faith who support Voluntary Assisted Dying Choice – Please endorse our Statement of Support now

Statement of Christian clergy support for Anne Gabrielides and the NSW Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017.

Rev. Dr Craig de Vos, B.V.Sc., Dip.P.S., B.Th.(Hons.), Ph.D, highly respected as a theologian in social aspects of the New Testament, is a practising Minister who holds a passion for social justice issues.

Rev. Dr De Vos says, “Our politicians, often guided by dogmatic religious beliefs, continue to deny the majority who want the choice of a death with dignity.”

“Some oppose voluntary euthanasia and voluntary assisted dying choice arguing that it’s wrong because it’s playing God.  Yet so is artificially prolonging life, and so is allowing people to suffer an horrific death when there are more compassionate alternatives.”

Rev. Dr de Vos endorsed the statement by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, who has said. “I believe in the sanctity of life. I know that we will all die and that death is a part of life. Terminally ill people have control over their lives, so why should they be refused control over their deaths? Why are so many instead forced to endure terrible pain and suffering against their wishes?”

Rev. Dr de Vos is Patron and member of the Executive of our group, Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Euthanasia.

He concluded, “I have the utmost sympathy for Anne Gabrielides, who is facing an horrific death from rapidly progressing Motor Neurone Disease, and support her plea to NSW members of parliament to give people in her situation choice and control at the end stages of their illness. I hope these MPs will demonstrate true compassion and empathy for Anne when considering the NSW Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017.”

Signed

Rev. Dr Craig de Vos, B.V.Sc., Dip.P.S., B.Th.(Hons.), Ph.D,

PLEASE  message Ian Wood using the “contact” on our website if you are clergy of any faith who would be prepared to endorse this Statement

Endorsed by

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Etc…….

 

Authorised by Ian Wood

National co-ordinator and spokesperson for Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Euthanasia

Villa 1, Hampton Mews, 4 Wills Place, Mittagong NSW  2575  AUSTRALIA

Website: www.Christiansforve.org.au

TO VIEW ANNIE’S VIDEO AND PLEA TO THE NSW MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT.

Anne (Annie) has rapidly progressing Motor Neurone Disease and her interview together with her family is truly heartrending.  Here> https://www.change.org/p/don-t-leave-me-trapped-in-a-dying-body-allow-me-to-die-peacefully

A thoughtful sermon from New Zealand in support of assisted dying.

Glynn Cardy, Minister at the Community of St Luke

Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand :: Remuera – Newmarket

Physician Assisted Dying

Colossians 3:12-15 Luke 5:25-34
Sun 28 June 2015

The debate about physician assisted dying has been given added impetus with the recent trial in the High Court regarding Lecretia Seales.  Those who are seeking a change in the law wish that no prosecution would follow if a terminally ill person had reached a clear, voluntary, settled, and informed decision to end their life and the assisting physician was motivated wholly by compassion.

There are a number of Christian denominations[i] that support passive euthanasia, namely the withdrawal or withholding of medical treatment for the terminally ill when warranted.  Passive euthanasia is legal in New Zealand.  Active and passive euthanasia though in a hospital setting are sometimes not as easily separated in practice as it is in theory.

While Christian leadership is generally opposed to physician assisted dying there are some important exceptions.  These include the renowned Roman Catholic theologian Hans Kung, the former Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu,[ii] and the former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey.  A UK poll (2015) showed 62% of religious adherents supported physician assisted dying.

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Ian Wood – his followup letter to Kevin Andrews MP re the John Baylis Diary and Marshall Perron’s letter to Kevin Andrews MP

Hon Kevin Andrews MP                                               Posted 19.11.2015, on C4VE letterhead
Parliament House
CANBERRA ACT
2600

Dear Mr Andrews

Marshall Perron, former Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, wrote to you recently about the diary of the tragic last weeks of John Baylis, who died from Motor Neurone Disease.

As Mr Perron so clearly and succinctly pointed out, the fact that John Baylis could not access the assisted death he so rationally requested, was due to your action in instigating the overturning of the Rights of the Terminally Ill Act.

What Mr Perron did not say, is that you do still have the opportunity to go some way in atoning for what a substantial majority of Christians believe was your regrettable lack of compassion for the terminally ill, as they die with suffering that even the best palliative care cannot relieve.

Eighteen years have now passed since Oregon State, USA enacted their Death With Dignity Act in 1997. Since then three other states enacted similar legislation – Washington State. Vermont and California. Montana and New Mexico also have the right by a court decision In Europe, The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg have had choice since 2002, in addition to Switzerland.

There is now a mass of data available, based on the experience in these countries.
Essentially, we can now state Continue reading

The diary of John Baylis, and Marshall Perron’s letter to Kevin Andrews MP

83 year old Darwin man John Baylis died from the ravages of Motor Neuron Disease on 5th March 2015.  He wrote Imagine if you can, a good mind, with good recall and an active imagination, trapped in a body that can’t walk, can’t talk, both arms and hands affected, lips, and throat not under control. Difficulty eating and drinking. It is an awful place to be, believe me. The reason I have “ come out of the Closet “ is to promote and push for the right to die with dignity.

John Baylis’ Diary

83 year old Darwin man John Baylis died from the ravages of Motor Neuron Disease on 5th March 2015. This is an exact extract of his Facebook diary.
Dec 15, 2014 – Aged Care Assessment Teams ( ACAT ) I have finally been diagnosed by my GP , as having ‘ the monster inside me ‘ being diagnosed as Motor Neurone Disease . We applied for me to be assessed by ACAT , and they required a doctors report . My GP stated that I had MND . Fifteen years ago now , Dr Burrows of RDH made multiple diagnosis of my emerging symptoms . They were MND , small vessel disease , Myclophaphy and possibly Slow Person Syndrome , SPS. I visited a prominent Brisbane MND specialist three times , Continue reading

Response to NSW Premier Mike Baird to ABC Q&A

Mike Baird
Premier of NSW
SYDNEY

Dear Mr Baird

Thank you for publicly admitting on ABC Q&A, 6.9.2015, that you had very strong views on [against] legalising CHOICE in assisted dying, but after talking with a man in a terrible position, his pleas will ‘haunt’ you.

John Grayson, the 34 year old with terminal brain cancer, vividly described his prognosis – “I am going to end up with right hand side paralysis, blindness, being mute. I will end up in severe, chronic pain. I will have cognitive impaired ability and I will eventually die. What I want to know is why I’m forced to go through that torture.” (Ref 1)

GEOFFREY ROBERTSON: Look, we have a fundamental right not to be subjected to torture and if that torture is cancer, if it’s a terminal illness, we are entitled to take ourselves out of it. It is an awesome decision to make, but [it’s] we are entitled to make it without the intervention of the state, without having those who assist us, often our loved family with whom we have a final meal or whatever, arrested and charged with assisting suicide. Surely that’s right.

MIKE BAIRD: “my concern would be, you know, making a judgment on life”. Fact: You are not making a judgment on life. When an illness is terminal, the patient would be making a judgement on choosing to endure the torture, or die a quick, pain-free death It is not a choice between life and death, but a choice between two different ways of dying. Continue reading