The States' consideration of the assisted dying measure would also hold a great weight for the vulnerable on the island, the church ministers noted, saying that individuals with disabilities, the elderly, and others with sicknesses will see the measure as "a threat."
They also noted that the legislation would dramatically affect the relationship between doctors and patients, "threatening the trust that issuing life-ending prescriptions will bring." The assisted suicide legislation could additionally open the doors to other measures, the leaders wrote, reaching beyond the conditions of those nearing their lives.
"Of the few other jurisdictions that have introduced assisted dying most have, over time, seen the initial safeguards eroded and criteria broadened to include other conditions beyond terminally ill people," the letter said.
"To assist in the death of another is essentially to assist in their suicide," the letter continued.
Ultimately, the Christian leaders on Guernsey urged citizens to discern deeply the potential impact of introducing physician assisted suicide, particularly on the community's most vulnerable citizens.
"Our hope and prayer is that the requete is rejected by the States," the letter said. "This is a life and death issue so please contact your deputies with your views, doing so with the care and compassion that sustains our island community."
Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth, the diocese which encompasses Guernsey, had spoken out against the assisted suicide proposal in a letter last month to the Parish of Our Lady and the Saints of Guernsey. He urged Catholics to "mobilize" and to "speak out against this proposal."
"Someone near the end of life needs emotional support, comfort and care, good pain control, respect and loving communication – not suicide on prescription," Egan said.
If the upcoming legislation passes, Guernsey would be the first territory among the British Isles to legalize assisted suicide.