Skip to comments.Archbishop (of Canterbury): assisted suicide would ‘cross a moral’ line
Posted on 02/13/2010 1:10:50 PM PST by wagglebee
The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned that legalising assisted suicide would cross a moral boundary, and lead us into very dangerous territory during his address to the Church of Englands General Synod.
Dr Rowan Williams also used his address to criticise Harriet Harmans Equality Bill, currently before Parliament, which he described as ideological and dangerous.
During his speech Dr Williams declared that the church will argue fiercely, so long as legal argument continues, that granting a right to die is not only a moral mistake, as I believe myself, but the upsetting of a balance of freedoms.
He also cautioned that legalising assisted suicide would bring with it a risk to the freedom of others not to be manipulated or harassed or simply demoralised when in a weakened condition.
He continued: Once the possibility is there, it will not only be utilised by the smallish number of high-profile hard cases but will also create an ethical framework in which the worthwhileness of some lives is undermined by the legal expression of what feels like public impatience with protracted dying and unproductive lives.
The Archbishop said that the existing law serves us better.
The Archbishops warning comes ahead of the controversial publication of final guidance from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on when cases of assisted suicide will be prosecuted.
The DPPs final guidance for England and Wales will be published this Spring.
The Archbishop also used his address to attack Harriet Harmans proposed Equality Bill.
He said: The freedom of government to settle debated moral questions for the diverse communities of civil society is not something we should endorse too rapidly.
He added: If we concede the right to government to settle matters for religious bodies in some areas, how do we resist it in others?
The Archbishops comments follow Harriet Harmans announcement that the Government will not try and overturn amendments to the Bill voted for by the House of Lords.
The Equality Bill could have dramatically narrowed churches rights to only employ people whose private conduct was consistent with the Bibles teachings.
But the House of Lords backed amendments by Baroness OCathain which restored the wording of the current law.
The Equality Bill could still however place a duty on public bodies, like schools and the police, to promote homosexual and transsexual rights.
This is exactly what has been seen everywhere euthanasia and/or assisted suicide has been legalized.
The “right to die” straightway becomes the “duty to die.”
Yeah, and we should drop the freedom of speech and right to keep and bear arms because they get misused?
I know, I know...people can't make their own decisions.
The Archbishop of Canterbury wouldn’t know a moral line if he tripped over it and broke his nose.
I am surprised that Rowan the Fuzzy has grown a spine on this issue. Credit where credit is due, good for him.
I go along with Francis Schaeffer’s reasoning that abortion was the beginning of the devaluing of human life in the modern (post WWII) west.
You gots that right Gay State Conservative.
I’ve heard this clown say some really dumbass things in the past but he got ONE right out of what hundreds?
Things ok in Mass?
And, ok, its time to quit your grinning about Browns victory.
I'm Catholic but I still pay attention to the Anglican/Episcopal Church because it's "Christian" wing is so similar to the Catholic Church.It's very sad indeed to see so many Anglican dioceses/congregations going atheist.
Things ok in Mass? And, ok, its time to quit your grinning about Browns victory.
Well,it looks like our breathtakingly unpopular RAT Governor is gonna be reelected with about 35% of the vote (they've got a RAT stalking horse in the race) and that same Governor is,it seems,thinking of a "per mile" car tax (electronic tracking).Other than that things are just ducky.
I’m surprised that he doesn’t mention any religious human sacrifice exemption for the Druids.
“per mile” car tax
Strangs, usually very stupid things eminate first in Calif.
You've gotta realize that our anything-but-beloved Governor,Coupe Deval,is an old and close buddy of Hussein The Blessed himself.And...for the record...we take no lessons from no state when it comes to "stupid". ;-)
Sorry, I meant strange.
Tip of finger got lopped off in an industrial accident about 15 years ago.
I still have goofy stuff happen there.
No problem...I figured that that was what you meant.I've been known to make a typo or two (or fifteen thousand) and all my fingers are intact.
The Anglican "Church" (there is really no one such body, though many bear that name) gets it right pretty often, though that's rarely newsworthy, and I am sure a major portion of it outside of CofE and TEC would say this is not enough.
legalising assisted suicide would cross a moral boundary, and lead us into very dangerous territory: "Cross a moral boundary"? Yes, absolutely. "lead us into very dangerous territory? Well, yes, in much the same way that stepping off a cliff "lead[s one] into very dangerous territory" -- you have already crossed over the line.
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Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15
As an Anglican (cradle Episcopalian) I agree it is sad and the bleeding is not done yet -- but for the first time since the early '80s I have real hope for our future.
I travel a lot and try to make a point of attending services at the "local" Anglican church if possible. Sometimes the churches are CofE & abroad (in Europe), sometimes they're other national churches (India) and sometimes they're even still in TEC (USA). I try to select for the "best" and though I do run into the "stone-cold dead" churches, I am beginning to find vibrant faithful parish families like my own -- as I did recently in the heart of France, of all places.
We've learned to live without being the state religion that CofE enjoys, and to be other than "The Republican Party at Prayer" (USA, I shudder at that thought today) and all that will be good for us. The splintering of American Anglicanism is also reversing; I don't know that the Anglican genetic imperative for being in the "world-wide Anglican Communion" will survive, but the genetic desire for unity is asserting itself as the splinters come into (re-)communion and rejoin.
I see new shoots coming up through the ashes. Don't give us up as lost quite yet, GSC.
Even a blind hog finds an acorn now and then.
He's a poet, an academic, a philosopher playing with words, and no more fit to be a bishop than my cat. Maybe less so -- my cat would do no harm.
Even a stopped clock can be right a couple of times a day.