“Our faith traditions tell us that ‘blessed are the merciful,’ but it’s not merciful to require the dying to suffer senselessly. Denying the dying person the freedom to end unnecessary, meaningless suffering is far from merciful; rather, it’s torturous. Torture in any form is morally wrong.” Portland Press Herald 26/11.
In our own country, an increasing number of clerics of different Christian denominations speak out against the cruelty of forcing a dying person to suffer. To cite just one example, Anglican Assistant Bishop of Auckland Jim White and his two clerical co-authors made a submission to the Justice select committee favouring assisted dying under controlled circumstances.
If 70% of New Zealanders want voluntary euthanasia/assisted dying to be legalised and only 42% are declared non-believers (census 2013), that leaves 28% who have faith affiliations but who are at odds with their fundamentalist dogmas prohibiting it.
This new wave of religious compassion blended with human experience holds hope for us all.