Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Temporary pause

Due to unforeseen circumstances, this blog will be paused for the next few weeks. However, we hope to return to it in due course.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Opposing views on assisted suicide

The Guardian newspaper has published a debate between Mary Warnock, who passionately believes that assisted suicide should be lagal, and Cristina Odone, a Christian writer who is against its legalisation. Both women have experienced the loss of loved ones under difficult conditions. Although there is no "real conclusion" to the detabe, it is important to have positions seen and analysed in order to derive a personal perspective.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Euthanasia Series on Channel 4

Alaistair Thompson has alerted us of a series on euthanasia which will be shown on Channel 4. All of the video clips are available in the following website.

There is also the possibility of posting comments on the wesbite. We thought it might be an interesting resource for everyone to look into.
This is the way Alaistair let us know about the series:
We would like your feedback on a series of films about euthanasia showing on Channel 4 next week. encourages constructive debates about religious and ethical issues in our society. Each week we look at a different theme, and next week we are exploring attitudes towards euthanasia, and asking whether it should be legalised in Britain. We have tried our hardest to fairly represent both sides of the debate, and show both people who believe assisted suicides should be legalised to limit the suffering of terminal illnesses, and people who don't for religious and potential misuse reasons. The 90 second films will be airing after the news every evening on Channel 4 (around 7:55pm). Viewers can then share their own thoughts and feelings about euthanasia, respond to individual films and reply to other viewer comments on our website

This is obviously a contentious and extremely emotional issue. In order to generate meaningful dialogue on the website, which may be of use to individuals and support groups, it would be a fantastic help if you could ask your members, colleagues and friends to watch the films and respond online afterwards. We are interested in all thoughts related to the films, whether you agree with the speaker or strongly oppose what they say, and hope people will share also share personal views and and experiences. We always encourage people to be open and honest when commenting, and you can remain anonymous if you wish.

This is an outline of the speakers views and transmission times.

Monday 17th January, 7:55pm – Lesley Close
Lesley Close’s brother John had Motor Neurone Disease. In 2003 Lesley accompanied him to a suicide clinic in Switzerland where she witnessed his “dignified and amazing” death.

Monday 17th January, 7:58pm – Sarah Meagher
Christian Sarah Meagher’s husband died of cancer four years ago. Sarah believes that only God has the right to take a life and neither she nor her husband would have wanted his death to be hastened in any way.

Tuesday 18th January, 7:55pm – Martin Amis
Author Martin Amis believes that euthanasia is an evolutionary inevitability. Martin recently caused controversy by putting forward the idea of suicide booths on street corners and thinks that future generations will look back at how we have abandoned people to their longevity as “barbaric”.

Wednesday 19th January, 7:55pm – Michael Wenham
Christian Michael Wenham was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease nine years ago. He believes his life is now richer than it was before his illness and that euthanasia is a selfish act that fails to take account of the feelings of those who are left behind.

Thursday 20th January, 7:55pm – Dr Michael Irwin
Dr Michael Irwin believes that it is a doctor’s duty to ease a patient’s suffering and wants to see a change in the law that would allow doctor-assisted suicide for those who are terminally ill. He has personally accompanied patients to the Dignitas suicide clinic in Switzerland to help them end their lives.

Friday 21st January, 7:25pm – (anti euthanasia doctor)
Saturday 22nd January, 6:55pm – Dr Ann McPherson
Dr Ann McPherson has terminal cancer. She will almost certainly die within the next six to twelve months. Ann hopes that, when the time comes, she will be able to have the option of an assisted death in Britain.

Sunday 23rd January, 7:55pm –Kevin Fitzpatrick
Kevin Fitzpatrick believes that legalising euthanasia in Britain would be a terrible mistake and that many more disabled people would die as a result. Kevin believes that we should put our energies into improving palliative care services rather than trying to make it easier for people to hasten their deaths.

All of the films are available to watch online immediately after they broadcast, and for the next 6 months, here

Monday, 6 December 2010

Ian Galloway calls for the debate to widen

Ian Galloway, the Convener of the Church and Society council has called for a widening of the debate on assisted suicide to include issues of palliative care. This is in response to the fact that the Assisted Suicide Scotland Bill failed to reach the required vote at the Scottish Parliament. Margo MacDonald, the proponent of the bill, agreed with Mr. Galloway that the debate mucst also include the provision for palliative care.

What do we mean by "Quality of Life"

This is a very powerful video about a person with a genetical disorder. It has really made me think about the meaning of the concept "quality of life". Please watch it.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Church of Scotland's position on the proposed End of Life Assistance Bill.

The Church of Scotland today urged MSPs to reject the proposed Lend of Life Assistance (Scotland) Bill, to be debated in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday 25th November.

Rev Ian Galloway, Convener of the Church and Society Council of the Kirk drew the attention of MSPs to the Committee which has undertaken intense scrutiny of this proposed legislation. He said: “The conclusions of the Committee are unequivocal: no change of the law in this regard is either required or desirable, as they say in their report that “the Committee was not persuaded that the case had been made …and, accordingly, does not recommend the general principles of the Bill to the Parliament.”

The ELA Scotland Bill proposes that, under certain circumstances, assistance to end their lives should be allowed for those who wish to. The Church argues that any legislation which endorses the deliberate ending of a human life undermines us as a society. The worth and dignity of every human life needs to be emphasised and celebrated; in particular, the deliberate ending of life would be a matter to be deplored if person was perceived (or perceived themselves) as merely a burden.

Legislation of the type proposed in the End of Life Assistance (Scotland) Bill represents much more than simply a tinkering with the law. Breaching as it does the societal prohibition on the taking of human life, it carries implications for attitudes to many aspects of health and social care, not simply for the determined few who are pushing for change.

Rev Galloway continued: “An important aspect of our life as a society is in caring for the most vulnerable in society. While we are sympathetic towards the fears and desires of those who may be afraid of a painful death, what is proposed in this Bill is not the solution. Rather, there is a necessity to ensure that, as far as possible, all have access to good palliative care, which, in the widest sense, involves caring not just for the physical but also the emotional and the physical and spiritual needs of people coming towards the end of their lives.”

Friday, 22 October 2010

Scots End-of-life Bill could lead to 1,000 deaths a year

Scots End of-life Bill could lead to 1,000 deaths a year. These are really stark projections of people presumably willing to commit suicide per year in Scotland. Palliative care nurses are also warning that if passed, this legislation would bring into Scotland, people willing to end their lives, pretty much in the same way as people travel to Switzerland. Cristina Odone, from the Centre for Policy Studies, has recently published a report starting that this legislation would make elderly and frail people extremely vulnerable to succomb to pressures for assited suicide. If life is considered expendible, because some people cannot contribute on economical and social terms to society, and there is a lgeal way of ending such lives, there might always be the temptation to view suicide as a normal way out. However, this position is not acceptable within a Christian outlook on life, that values everyone's contribution to society and that considers life sacred.