Bishop Desmond Tutu is stepping out on euthanasia issues facing society.
His view is unique because most Christians believe “assisted suicide” is a sin. We believe in the sanctity of life from the moment of conception until natural death. There are over 60 passages of scripture in the Bible that relate to the sanctity of life, beginning with “Thou Shalt Not Kill.” Ultimately, we believe that God is the giver and taker of life and that His will in such matters takes precedence over man’s will.
In an article for the Observer published on Saturday, Tutu insists: “I revere the sanctity of life – but not at any cost.
“Dying is part of life. We have to die. The Earth cannot sustain us and the millions of people that came before us. We have to make way for those who are yet to be born. And since dying is part of life, talking about it shouldn’t be taboo,” he writes.
“People should die a decent death. For me that means having had the conversations with those I have crossed in life and being at peace. It means being able to say goodbye to loved ones – if possible, at home.”
He said the way in which Nelson Mandela was widely televised in his last days, despite being incredibly unwell, was “an affront to Madiba’s dignity”. Tutu suggests instead that society should open up conversation about “what does it mean to be alive” and consider the best possible use of our resources.
“But why is a life that is ending being prolonged? Why is money being spent in this way? It could be better spent on a mother giving birth to a baby, or an organ transplant needed by a young person. Money should be spent on those that are at the beginning or in full flow of their life.
He also described as “disgraceful” how former South African leader Nelson Mandela was kept alive with intensive hospitalization in the final stages of his life and was photographed with various visiting politicians.Church of England on Sunday called for an Royal Commission – a major public inquiry – to be held on the issue.
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