Portsmouth, England, Mar 26, 2018 / 17:01 pm
Legalizing assisted suicide is a false solution to the sufferings of the terminally ill, an English bishop has said in a Palm Sunday letter addressed to the faithful of the Channel Island of Guernsey.
“Someone near the end of life needs emotional support, comfort and care, good pain control, respect and loving communication – not suicide on prescription,” said Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth. “Let us redouble our efforts to offer this support, not least to anyone tempted to suicide or a hurried death.”
“I appeal to Catholics to mobilize,” he added in his Palm Sunday letter to the Parish of Our Lady and the Saints of Guernsey. “Speak out against this proposal. It is never permissible to do good by an evil means.” He asked everyone in Guernsey to overturn this “grim proposal” and to “redouble the compassionate care of those who are frail and terminally ill.”
Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands off the coast of Normandy, is a Crown dependency for which the U.K. is responsible. It is part of the Diocese of Portsmouth.
Its chief minister, Gavin St. Pier, has proposed allowing terminally ill patients to commit suicide in a state-funded program with what he says are strict guidelines, the U.K. newspaper The Sunday Express reports. Those eligible under the proposal would include those who are mentally competent, diagnosed with a terminal illness, and given less than six months to live.
St. Pier cited his father’s death at age 77 after heart disease left him bedridden and unable to move, speak, eat, or drink. The minister said his father would have wanted an assisted suicide two to three weeks before his death.
The proposed change aims to give people choice and a sense of control over their death, St. Pier said. The Suicide Act 1961 bars euthanasia, with a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.
As we prepare for the Palm Sunday Mass, let’s pray for the people of Guernsey that, along with their doctors and other civilised people, they will robustly reject the push from secularists and liberals for assisted suicide and death-clinics.— Bishop Philip Egan (@BishopEgan) March 25, 2018