Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Assisted Dying

Also known as Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Euthanasia

Tag: Voluntary Assisted Dying

Rev Craig Kilgour, New Zealand. Sermon – My nephew had an assisted death in Canada: it was compassionate, it was humane, it was right and good.

From our friends across the Tasman I have this Sermon in strong support of Assisted Dying from Rev Craig Kilgour, when Interim Moderator at St Columba’s Presbyterian Church, Havelock North, New Zealand..

It is quite unique in that a nephew of Craig had an assisted death in Canada.  The last two paragraphs of the sermon sum up the compassionate Christian approach to Assisted Dying Choice: Let me finish this with what my family members said and repeated often using these words about my nephew’s death: It was compassionate, it was humane, it was right and good. And the family are very proud and humbled with the courage he showed in his battle with cancer. And to me no one has the right to be critical and judgemental of the choice he made.

So for me and my family this is not a philosophical debate, it is not a theological debate, it is not a theoretical debate, it is a reality and it was right and my nephew was fortunate he lived in Canada.

The sermon is posted here with the kind permission of Rev Craig. In response to my question on what was the reaction of his congregation to the sermon Craig replied: the reaction from the congregation was very positive with many copies requested. Copies went wider into the community. I’ve been asked to speak to a retired group of Doctors at Hastings hospital. 

Ian Wood

 

 

Rev Craig Kilgour

Sunday 14 October 2018

Assisted dying

The topic I’ve chosen for the sermon might seem strange for a morning when we celebrate the birth and baptism of Angus, but then I thought when life ends, we celebrate the life lived whatever the length.

I mentioned my dilemma to Granddad David and he said it evens things out!

I want to share with you this morning about what our family has experienced just recently.

I’m going to talk to you about assisted dying, euthanasia, a topic which is difficult to deal with, and it provokes very strong feelings.

The End of life choice Bill is currently with Parliament’s Justice Select Committee. There have been 35 000 submissions – think about terminal illness, a few months to live, sound mind, to allow physician-assisted death.

I with some of the congregation, attended a discussion on the Bill, that our MP Lawrence Yule had called with a panel of experts at our Community Centre a while ago.

The issue has been debated by the General Assembly of our church and they were unanimously opposed against supporting the Bill before Parliament.

After I took the service on 30 September, I went across to Takaka for the memorial service for my nephew who had died in Canada. He was 47 years old. The memorial service was held on Wednesday 3 October in the Pohara Boat Club – a place where he loved racing his yachting.

I did the eulogy and the internment of ashes at the local cemetery.

It was hard taking part in the service but good to spend a week with the family. I got back home last Monday.

So let me give you a background that led up to his death in Canada on 18 September.

My nephew Continue reading

Rev Dr Marvin Ellison -“Thou shall not torture”

Rev Dr Marvin Ellison of Maine USA, makes a powerful statement of Christian support for voluntary assisted dying in his opinion piece published in the Portland Press Herald, Maine, USA –

Maine Voices: In name of mercy, Maine Death With Dignity belongs on ballot

The measure [to include this in a referendum] would offer the dying an option to minimize needless suffering.

The original opinion piece title was more provocative – Rev Ellison has said he called it: “”Thou Shall Not Torture the Dying.”

Here are some quotes from Rev Ellison. I do urge viewers of this post to read the full article at the link below.

 “As a person of faith, ordained minister and professor of Christian ethics for more than three decades, I’m committed to seeking peace, justice and compassion in all things.”

“My religious tradition calls on the faithful to help reduce suffering in the world, including suffering at the bedside of those dying. For many, palliative care offers the comfort and support necessary to ease their way to a good death, but alas, palliative care is not always adequate to the task.”

“For others in the dying process, despite receiving the best palliative care, they find themselves ready to die, but unable to die. Too often they face a torturous ending.  Denying the dying person the freedom to end unnecessary, meaningless suffering is far from merciful; rather, it’s torturous.   Torture in any form is morally wrong.”

  • “As a person of faith, I hope and pray that Maine will join California, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia and make assisted dying legally available, allowing adults of sound mind to make their own value choices at the end of life. Doing so, I suggest, is a faithful, principled, and compassionate way to affirm the dignity and well-being of the living and the dying.”

Rev Dr Marvin Ellison, a Willard S. Bass Professor Emeritus of Christian Ethics at Bangor Theological Seminary, USA, is a scholar-activist and ordained Presbyterian minister. 

Rev Dr Marvin Ellison

 Photo supplied by Rev Ellison

Please read the full article ……

The truth about end of life choices – Forum held in Sydney 11.11.2018

 

An outstanding group of experts gave us the facts in this Forum on voluntary assisted dying support. Essential viewing!

The emotional plea by Jan, wife of Tim Edwards, and their daughter, Jessica, who spoke at the meeting about the torturous death of Tim from mesothelioma certainly bought tears to my eyes! I just cannot understand why our MPs continue to ignore such futile suffering, especially those who profess to be Christian. Where is their compassion?

I had the privilege of meeting Tim not long before he died, and together we went to lobby our local MP, Jai Rowell.

Every MP who is against this choice, and all members of the ‘ACL” (Australian Christian Lobby) and the ‘HOPE no euthanasia’ group should watch the complete forum and become familiar with the truth behind the issue, and then perhaps understand why up to 85% of Australians support voluntary assisted dying.

Ian Wood

 

Senator Burston – you have lied to me here, and to Carol Cronk

I, Ian Wood, wrote to NSW Senator Burston a cover letter to accompany a letter from Carol Cronk, that outlined an incurable neurological condition that Carol is experiencing, and asking the Senator to support the Restoring Territory Rights (Assisted Suicide Legislation) Bill, that could have resulted in a voluntary assisted dying law.  Carol is a committed supporter of our group.

We were both very pleased when we received this letter of support from the Senator.

Burston clearly states “I will be supporting the bill”. Yet eight days later he voted against the bill! He did not speak on the Bill during the debate. Readers will note that the Senator has One Nation Senator on his letterhead, and signs himself Senator for United Australia Party.  In retrospect that should have alerted my to the fact he could be two-faced!

Combined with Senator Georgiou, who also changed from a vote Yes, to a vote No, the Bill was lost 36 votes to 34.

I will leave readers to decide on the morality and ethics of this situation. Just what pressure was applied at the very last minute to Burston, and by whom?

After the vote, I sent Senator Burston’s letter back to him, with my comment written on it. Clearly I was not happy!

Carol was quite devastated.  Obviously Burston has no thought or compassion for the damage his change of position has done for the truly vulnerable – those like Carol.

Carol also wrote back to Senator Burston, and with her permission I include the letter here. I will update this post if we receive a reply from the Senator.

Dear Senator Burston

Our hearts/spirits were intensely lifted by your positive letter to us, dated 7 August 2018 (Ref TS20180807) advising us that you absolutely were going to vote for the Restoring Territory Rights legislation, and this gave us hope that it would ultimately lead to “euthanasia- end of life choices”.

I write to now to express my disgust and betrayal of this letter of support. You have turned your back on us all, by voting against the bill. I/we were so crushed by it, especially as your vote destroyed all of our hopes.

As I advised you in my earlier letter, I have my diagnosis of a type of dementia, which is killing off my brain cells until its wrathful journey ends all of my brain functioning. It is taking my world away. I will not allow my family to view me this way. Continue reading

‘I am convinced that physician-assisted dying can be, and is, practised responsibly’, Ann Jackson, Oregon USA

One of the best articles in support of choice in assisted dying that I have read. Ann Jackson comprehensively rebuts the arguments used by those opposing compassionate choice, using the knowledge from her long personal experience in Oregon, USA.  It is particularly relevant, as Ann initially voted against the Oregon Act, but now strongly supports it.

Ann’s letter appears in the Guernsey Post, UK, where Guernsey is considering a vote on assisted dying. My sincere thanks, Ann, for writing this. Ian Wood.

 ‘I am convinced that physician-assisted dying can be, and is, practised responsibly’, says Ann Jackson, Oregon USA

MY NAME is Ann Jackson. In June 2008, after 20 years, I retired as executive director and chief executive officer of the Oregon Hospice Association, during which time I was involved in the public debates around assisted dying. I remain involved now, as an independent consultant about end-of-life options.
It is my understanding that Oregon’s assisted dying law has become a matter of debate in Guernsey ahead of a vote in May on whether to legislate for assisted dying on your island. When I was made aware of a recent letter published in the Guernsey Press (9 April) entitled ‘Oregon assisted-suicide model too good to be true’ I felt compelled to offer my professional experiences and put right misleading claims made by the author, Tony Meadowcroft. I hope that this letter also addresses concerns of Catherine Hall (Open Lines, 13 April).

There are various reasons people may oppose assisted dying but I do believe that the debate, wherever it occurs, should be based on evidence and facts.

As chief executive of the OHA, Continue reading

Excellent news from Victoria with the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill passing the upper house, with amendments, by 22 votes to 18

Yes, it is excellent news from Victoria with the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill passing the upper house, with amendments, by 22 votes to 18.  It now goes back to the lower house to see if they will vote to accept the amendments and pass the Bill, so just one more hurdle to cross there!

 

Sincere thanks to Dying With Dignity Victoria and the team, Andrew Denton and the Go Gentle Australia/Stop Victorians Suffering team for your unstinting efforts and to every MP who voted for compassionate choice.

 

Shame that we failed by one vote in our NSW upper house a week earlier.

 

Ian Wood on behalf of all the members Australia-wide of Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Euthanasia group.

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

NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley is opposed to the compassionate choice of Voluntary Assisted Dying – Ian Wood response

Continue reading