Category Archives: Risks
Looking a bit like a latter-day Welsh Druid, Archbishop Rowan Williams, when first appointed to the See of Canterbury, was the hope of a church which had seen too much dissension over homosexuality, the ordination of women, and a resurgent conservative evangelicalism. A professor of theology and a champion of liberal causes, even, in some respects, it seemed — though not correctly, perhaps – a liberal theologian, Archbishop Williams has been a great disappointment to many. He had scarcely assumed the throne of Augustine, the first Archbishop of Canterbury (not to be confused with his namesake, the Bishop of Hippo, in North Africa), when he began to speak about his more liberal opinions, especially over the acceptance of the relationships of gay and lesbian people within the fellowship of the church, as merely trial balloons, not positions seriously taken.
Opponents of choice in dying want you to believe that choice in dying will put disabled people at risk. But disabled people themselves are not so sure. Steven Fletcher is a Canadian Member of Parliament. He is also quadraplegic. And, while he did not vote for Mme. Francine Lalonde’s right-to-die bill (Bill C-384), he did not oppose it. He supports what he calls limited euthanasia.
It’s worth noting here, parenthetically, that limited euthanasia would inevitably mean that the individual’s choice wouldn’t count for very much. Many people think that really extreme situations – in which it would be right to invoke right-to-die considerations — are so extreme, and so rare, that it would be almost impossible to capture them in law. But if this is so, and there is no law governing them, then someone will have to break the law in order to show mercy to people in those situations. As we will see in another post, this is exactly what the Church of England thinks should happen. In such a situation, however, this also means that the the person suffering will not be in control. The medical team alone will get to make this judgement, because they’ll be risking everything if they choose to help someone die. We’ll return to this in another post.