Friday, October 07, 2016

Desmond Tutu Backs Assisted Dying

Archbishop Desmond Tutu wants the option of assisted dying and is urging his government to implement such a law. The 85-year old cleric and legendary anti-apartheid activist believes all dying people should be able to chose death with dignity.

“With my life closer to its end than its beginning, I wish to help give people dignity in dying,” he wrote in the Washington Post.

“Just as I have argued firmly for compassion and fairness in life, I believe that terminally ill people should be treated with the same compassion and fairness when it comes to their deaths,” he added.

“Dying people should have the right to choose how and when they leave Mother Earth. I believe that, alongside the wonderful palliative care that exists, their choices should include a dignified assisted death.”

Tutu had changed his mind over assisted suicide two years ago after a lifelong opposition but had remained ambiguous about whether he personally would choose such a death.

He said: “Today, I myself am even closer to the departures hall than arrivals, so to speak, and my thoughts turn to how I would like to be treated when the time comes. Now more than ever, I feel compelled to lend my voice to this cause.”

He believed in the sanctity of life but also that terminally ill people should not be forced to endure terrible pain and suffering, he wrote. Instead they should have control over the manner and timing of their death.

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