Senior adviser to Archbishop of Canterbury makes case for assisted suicide

A senior adviser to the Archbishop of Canterbury told The Observer that people should not be prosecuted if they assist terminally ill relatives who are in great pain to end their lives.

Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, sent canon Robin Gill, a professor of modern theology at the University of Kent and editor of the book, Euthanasia and the Churches, to a parliamentary committee hearing on a private member's bill on assisted suicide for the terminally ill last week.

Rev. Rod Thomas, a spokesman for the Church of England, distanced the church from Gill's views, saying Gill’s opinion did not reflect those of anyone else in the Church.

"The Church of England made a joint submission with the Roman Catholic bishops on the Assisted Dying Bill, opposing the legalization of euthanasia," he said.

Anglican bishops agreed that withholding excessive medical treatment when there is no "reasonable prospect of recovery was consistent with Christian principals" at the 1998 Lambeth conference.

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