LONDON, OCT. 10, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor spoke out against an assisted-dying bill being considered in Britain, warning that the "right to die can become a duty to die."
The archbishop of Westminster made that comment on the BBC One’s "Sunday AM" program, in regard to the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill being debated today in the House of Lords.
He was asked by the interviewer whether the matter of death is "not an intensely personal thing which should be left to the individual and not to churches?"
"It’s not only a personal thing," the cardinal responded, "it’s a common thing and I think the churches have a right to say what they deeply believe regarding the sanctity of life and also regarding the consequences of particular actions.
"With regard to assisted dying and this bill of Lord Joffe, first of all I’d say, with the growth of hospices, which care for the dying — and I’ve been to many — there’s no doubt that there are now ways of palliative care that we didn’t have before and therefore that great moment, or moments, or time of going to the next life, of dying is a very important moment and time in a person’s life — "
…Meanwhile, in Glasgow, Scotland, Archbishop Mario Conti, the vice chair of the joint Bioethics Committee of the bishops’ conferences of Britain and Ireland, made a statement on the assisted-dying bill.
"Legally assisted suicide is the first step to getting rid of the elderly and the terminally ill," Archbishop Conti said. "Those who deny this are so focused on the particular question that they fail to see the broader consequences.
"Such a law would change the role of doctors subtly but significantly from carers of the sick to dispatchers of their patients. Legislators, medical personnel and patients alike should resist this move.
Exactly right, the right to die will become the duty to die. We too easily make people feel like a burden for daring to stick around when they should just off themselves "with dignity." The misplaced compassion of those who see their relatives suffering move to try to put an end to it instead of doing what they can to enter in to it and to reduce their suffering. Archbishop Mario Conti is also right but in many ways doctors have already become dispatchers instead of healers. Abortion has already entered in to corrupt the medical profession from life-saving to life-taking.