.- Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Archbishop of Westminster has signed a joint letter with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, and Britain’s Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks, urging opposition to the controversial Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill that would allow terminally ill patients to request euthanasia from their doctors.
The Bill is currently being debated in the House of Lords.
The Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury and nine of his Episcopal colleagues joined an impassioned debate in the House of Lords today to oppose a controversial Bill that would give terminally ill patients the right to an assisted death.
“We believe that all human life is sacred and God-given with a value that is inherent, not conditional,” the joint statement, published in the London Times begins.
The three men said they feared that a right to die would soon become a "duty to die," adding, "Were such a law enacted, the elderly, lonely, sick or distressed would find themselves under pressure, real or imagined, to ask for an early death. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that economic pressures might not come to play a significant part in determining whether to treat or recommend assisted death."
Finally, they wished to stress the “acute implications for others — relatives, friends, colleagues, medical professionals and the wider community.”
“As such, any change in the law would irrevocably change the delicate relationship of trust between patient and doctor and between citizen and society,” the letter concludes.
Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor also teamed up with Dr Rowan Williams for a rare joint interview on the BBC today.
To read full statement: