UK: Assisted Dying Debate Reignited… But Why?

UK: Assisted Dying Debate Reignited… But Why?

David Galloway, a surgeon and Former President of Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow joins Nana Akua on GB News to discuss the issue.

Editor writes…

Why does this subject keep coming up?  We have, on the one  hand, people filled with fear of becoming infected with Covid-19 (from which the majority recover), terrified of death, willing to live under tyrannical restrictions rather than risk death from “the virus” while, on the other hand, we find lobbyists keen to legalise euthanasia in one form or another.  Why?  Is the search for a pain-free life and death due to the absence of God in personal and public life?

And now for a silly question:  why isn’t the Pope, the bishops and priests speaking out on all such moral issues,  not to “guide” society, but to remind society of God and His Commandments – authoritatively?  In other words, why are churchmen not showing real spiritual, religious and moral leadership, speaking out in prophetic terms to warn society that there will be a day of reckoning for flouting God’s law?  Diplomacy didn’t work for Pontius Pilate and it won’t work for them at their Judgment either.

Comments (13)

  • Laura Reply

    I was pleased and impressed with the surgeon in the interview. It’s refreshing to hear a doctor rejecting the killing mentality.

    IMHO, the reason why the hierarchy and clergy don’t speak out is because they have lost the faith. Half the time, at least, they will be in agreement with the immorality being peddled, in this case, assisted dying.

    September 5, 2021 at 8:28 pm
    • editor Reply

      Laura,

      I agree with you on both counts.

      September 5, 2021 at 10:11 pm
      • Lily

        Editor,

        I also agree with Laura about the clergy. They have no zeal at all, for the faith and to protect morals. They just follow the crowd. It’s so sad. They are missing opportunities to show the Church as God’s mouthpiece.

        September 6, 2021 at 9:17 am
  • Bernie Reply

    I noticed the presenter saying her mother was worried about being a burden, but I didn’t hear her assuring her mother that she could never be a burden. That’s the real problem here, that older people are made to feel they’re a burden or would be a burden if they needed nursing care.

    September 5, 2021 at 10:01 pm
    • editor Reply

      Bernie,

      You raise a central point – it is this whole mentality that an elderly relative would be a burden, which drives this whole euthanasia craze. I was glad to hear the surgeon describe it as an “undignified” way to die. Absolutely, it is, and it is also shameful that anyone would think of an elderly parent in need of end of life care as a “burden”. Selfish to the core.

      September 5, 2021 at 10:13 pm
    • Lily Reply

      Bernie,

      That’s what troubles me a great deal, this whole mentality that someone is a burden if they are non-productive or not able to fully look after themselves. If you put that way of thinking together with the push for de-population then I’d say us golden-oldies are an endangered species.

      It’s a kind of irony that society makes a big deal of valuing nurses and carers in the community, yet don’t value their own role in possibly caring for a parent at the end of their lives. I find it strange.

      September 6, 2021 at 9:15 am
  • Faith of Our Fathers Reply

    ED that is a Silly Question asking a Catholic Bishop Cardinal or one who Dresses as a Pope, after all as one of the McCarrick Clan said ” We don’t want to go down a Rabbit Hole on Questions like these . After all their are more important things. Like Moslem Immigration. Saving Polar Bears and Penguins to be interested in trivial stuff such as Euthanasia and Abortion Etc ”
    Sure the Godfather isn’t even sure at what point Life starts . Silly me thought it was at conception. As for this assisted Dying that reminds me that al need to Opt Out of the Evil Scottish Government coming to take out Our Organs before we’re dead.

    Of course once the Vaccine Passports are Mandatory then the Mengele crowd can move on to inserting a Microchip in Everyone’s Hand . Of course for the Peasants their will without a doubt be a Let’s Call It a Cancellation Date . After all we know the Perferted are good with Mixing up Language. Also as for The Ten Commandments. Well we all know that The Godfather has now rescinded them when He said ” They aren’t Mandatory ”
    I also supposed that you read Bergoglio saying Praying in Latin was in His words ” Like laughing at God. ” One wonders if this Man can get any worse. But again, that’s also a Silly Question.

    September 6, 2021 at 8:32 am
    • editor Reply

      FOOF,

      I hadn’t read or heard about the “laughing” comment so I did a quick search and find that he actually said this about having the readings in Latin – that “would be like laughing at the Word of God.”

      Not that it’s any better, but just to be accurate…

      As you say, can he get any worse? Answer: Probably.

      September 6, 2021 at 8:41 am
  • Lily Reply

    That doctor in the video is really excellent and I wasn’t expecting him to be against assisted dying. I think the interviewer was also surprised. They don’t usually allow an expert on the subject to go unchallenged by another doctor, so that was very good to see.

    September 6, 2021 at 9:12 am
    • editor Reply

      Lily,

      I agree – the TV researchers usually ensure that the “pro-death” argument predominates, so this was a refreshing change. Having said that, the fact that the two men on the sofa were in sympathy with the assisted dying lobby, was disappointing. A third person there would have been better.

      September 6, 2021 at 9:39 am
  • Josephine Reply

    This will come. We are already at risk when in the “care” of medical professionals as we’ve found out through the Covid virus. I am resigned to this and just keep asking St Joseph to intercede for me to have a Catholic death, with the sacraments before I pass away and to keep me out of hospital, if that is in keeping with God’s will for me.

    September 6, 2021 at 12:45 pm
  • wendy walker Reply

    https://twitter.com/RightToLifeUK/status/1436768043653373953?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

    and...

    BIG WARNING….BIG REQUEST TO OUR MUSLIM DOCTORS:

    IF YOU ALLOW ME MY DEAR MUSLIM DOCTORS/with my apology from the beginning:

    ALMOST ALL MUSLIM DOCTORS ARE THE LAZIEST MOST CARELESS PEOPLE
    TO PUBLICISE TO RESPOND, TO DO THEIR ISLAMIC MEDICAL HUMANE DUTY TO OPPOSE
    ASSISTED SUICIDE/ASSISTED DYING, which is unfortunately is going to be legalised soon/GOD forbids,, AND TO OPPOSE THE KILLING OF OUR INNOCENT MISGUIDED NEGLECTED PATIENTS AND TO OPPOSE THE DAILY SLAUGHTER /HOLOCAUST IN THE UK OF 600 INNOCENT UNBORN BABIES WHO ARE CUT TO PIECES IN ABORTION(the Barbaric killing of an innocent living child) DESPITE THESE INNOCENT children ARE “Muslims”!!!
    AND BY NOT RESPONSING TO A LOT OF IMMORAL HARAM/FORBIDDEN IDEASAND PRACTICES WHICH ARE UNETHICAL UNISLAMIC INHUMANE MEDICAL PRACTICES AND WHICH ARE RAISED IN THE BMJ OR IN ANY MEDICAL JOURNAL OR IN HUNDREDS OF MEDICAL JOURNALS!
    THEY NEVER GIVE THE RIGHT NEEDED ISLAMIC MEDICAL RESPONSE OR VIEW TO A LOT OF SECULAR HARAMS UNETHICAL IMMORAL INHUMANE VIEWS OR MEDICAL PRACTICES…
    I NEVER EVER SAW A MUSLIM MEDICAL RESPONSE/A LETTER ON MANY IMPORTANT MEDICAL ISSUES RELATED TO LIFE AND ETHICS
    ESPECIALLY IN DOING:

    LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
    RAPID RESPONSES
    Etc…

    MUSLIM DOCTORS ARE “Living on another planet” no doubt!!!

    ALL THIS GROSS NEGLECT WHILE WE DO HAVE OVER 20 000 MUSLIM DOCTORS IN THE UK!
    AND DESPITE KNOWING IT IS AN ORDER/ISLAMIC DUTY TO GIVE THE ISLAMIC MEDICAL VIEW AND TO OPPOSE:
    ALL NON-ISLAMIC ANTI-LIFE IDEAS AND HARAM MEDICAL PRACTICES !
    AND DESPITE BEEN ENCOURAGED BY THE EDITORS TO GIVE THE OTHER ALTERNATIVE MISSING ISLAMIC VIEW OR RESPONSE
    AND WHEN OUR PRO-LIFE PRACTICING CHRISTIAN BELIEVERS WOULD LOVE TO HEAR/SEE OUR
    PRO-LIFE MUSLIM VIEWS/RESPONSES JOINING THE MAND IN ORDER TO GIVE SUPPORT TO EACH OTHER AND WIN THE VICTORY OF LIFE/PRO-LIFE…!
    AND DESPITE THE MENTIONING IN THE FINAL HOLY BOOK AL QUR’AN:
    “IF YOU SAVE ONE LIFE IS LIKE SAVING ALL MANKIND..
    AND IF YOU KILL ONE INNOCENT LIFE …IT IS LIKE KILLING ALL MANKIND…”

    WHERE ARE YOU:

    IMA(Islamic Medical Association) present in a lot of countries

    WHERE ARE YOU:

    FIMA(Federation of ISLAMIC MEDICAL ASSOCIATIONS)

    WHERE ARE YOU:

    BIMA(BRITISH ISLAMIC MEDICAL ASSOCIATION) in the UK

    WHERE ARE YOU:

    MDA(MUSLIM DOCTORS ASSOCIATION) in the UK

    A SINCERE CARING SHOUT FROM A CONCERNED FRUSTRATED MUSLIM DOCTOR BEFORE HE DIE!

    MAY ALMIGHTY GOD GUIDE US ALL….to do our Islamic medical duty..Ameen

    DR A MAJID KATME

    NB: I WILL BE HAPPY TO ASSIST AND GUIDE ANY MUSLIM DOCTOR OR MUSLIM DOCTORS ORGANISATION DAY AND NIGHT ABOUT:
    The Needed Islamic medical articles, The Islamic medical practices, The Needed Islamic Medical letters The Needed Islamic medical responses and where we do need to submit an Islamic medical view OR AN ISLAMIC MEDICAL PRO-LIFE VIEW or a response or a letter !

    SEE BELOW A JEWISH RESPONSE TO ASSISTED SUICIDE

    A Response to Rabbi Romain’s and the former Archbishop Carey: There is indeed Biblical and Theological Opposition to Assisted Dying
    Re: There is nothing holy about agony: religious people and leaders support assisted dying too Jonathan Romain, George Carey. 374:doi 10.1136/bmj.n2094
    Dear Editor,

    I would like to respond to Rabbi Jonathan Romain’s and the former Archbishop George Carey’s essay, “There is nothing holy about agony: religious people and leaders support assisted dying too” (9 September 2021).

    Firstly, the terms employed by Rabbi Romain and former Archbishop Carey serve to empty assisted dying of any connotations other than one of being a professional, medical procedure. Yet, upon more considered thought, there is no reason to medicalise or sanitise assisted dying or even to call it “assisted dying” in the first place as opposed to, say, facilitated murder or suicide. Furthermore, a doctor is not perforce the ideal functionary necessary to carry out assisted suicide or to have the power to vote it in its favour. Since Classical times, a doctor’s primary obligation has been to heal their patients, to “first do no harm,” not to end life, even if such would mean an end to the person’s pain.

    However, most deceiving of all is the sweeping, groundless assertion that even though “there has been such strong opposition to assisted dying by some religious groups. Strangely, it is not largely on theological grounds, because there is nothing in our bibles or prayer books that directly mentions this matter.” On the contrary, even a cursory glance at the Jewish prayer book, for example, reveals a “direct opposition to assisted dying.” One of the very first passages contain within the Jewish prayer book, to be said each day upon waking, is: “God, the life-force you placed within me is pure; you created it, formed it, and breathed it into me. One day you will take it from me. If this life-force is within me, I will thank you.” Every comprehensive Jewish prayer book also contains the ancient oral Jewish teaching that “against your will you are born, against your will you live, and against your will you die.”

    That does not mean to say that Judaism is a religion devoid of compassion. The prayer book’s many pages are replete with pleas to heal the afflictions of the sick and show mercy to all Creation – to alleviate and not to celebrate suffering. Its prayers, filled with Biblical psalms, recited three times a day by religious Jews, calls on man to feel the pain of others and unwaveringly support the ill and vulnerable. It reads as one emphatic appeal to the supplicant to have empathy with all people on Earth, to “be with them in their suffering.” Furthermore, the bible recognises the reality of human suffering. Several of the most righteous Biblical personalities crumbled under the burden of their troubles and pleaded with God to die (as Moses cried out: “If this is the way you [God] treat me, please kill me!”). Yet even so never was one sanctioned to kill himself; neither was another person granted with the right to assist him to do so. According to Jewish Law, such would be murder as a person’s life – despite the unbearable, torturous agony which may consume it – remains, just as that early morning prayer proclaims, under God’s ownership and not ours. The verse in Genesis, in the opening chapters of the bible, states somewhat wordily, “The blood of your lives [spilled by murder] will I [God] require [i.e., accountability from the murderer]… from the hand of man, from the hand of a person’s brother [namely, even if such murder was mercy-killing, killing one’s ‘brother’], will I require [punishment for taking] the life of man.”

    To be sure, end of life treatment in Orthodox Judaism, a legal system formed and dictated by a vast and complicated mass of Talmudic law, is a delicate and complex area which requires the navigations and rulings of only the most qualified halakhic experts. Additionally, there is nuance regarding end-of-life treatment. However, active assisted suicide nevertheless lies beyond the pale (see, for example, the writings of Professor J David Bleich).

    In short, there certainly is “biblical and theological opposition” to assisted dying, one just needs to open the prayer book and turn to its very first pages or casually purview the opening chapters of Genesis to find it. I understand Rabbi Romain’s and the former Archbishop’s position and appreciate that it is motivated by genuine compassion for the terminally ill, the result of having personally witnessed the physical pain and crippling distress of those imminently facing an inevitable death. However, if they want to be true to their titles, the least they could do is open a prayer book. They would see that a law to allow assisted dying would be a step too far for many religious groups. They themselves may be unwilling to stand in prayer with the Jewish prayer book – filled with scriptural verses and used for a millennium by the faithful – uttering the refrain, repeated three times a day by Jews, that “God owns all,” including our lives. Yet many religious people still do. Whilst those adherents plead daily that God should ease the pain of the sick and perhaps even that God should end those poor, tormented lives, those same religious people nevertheless accept that we human beings are forbidden “biblically and theologically” from assisting in another’s suicide; that the life-force inside of us is exclusively God’s to take.

    Gavriel Cohn

    Competing interests: No competing interests

    10 September 2021
    Gavriel Y Cohn
    Jewish Studies Teacher
    London
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    September 12, 2021 at 3:42 pm

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