Copy of letter from Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Assisted Dying. Please note this letter contains images that are disturbing.
Mr Martyn Iles
Australian Christian Lobby
4 Campion Street
DEAKIN ACT 2600
Dear Mr Iles,
“God uses the challenges and trials of life, in all its phases and seasons, to train us and make us better” and “Euthanasia is our vain attempt to deny and reject God’s plan for suffering”. [To quote from a poster on your ACL Facebook]
What a horrible, vindictive, abusive, sadistic God you portray! Statements like yours make it readily understandable why Australians are leaving the church in droves.
Thankfully, my concept of God is of love, empathy and compassion. I was given a brain with which to think, and that thinking motivates me to aim to live a good and moral life, yet would also enable me to rationally choose a medically assisted death should I be faced with dying with intolerable suffering. You, and your associates at ACL, are of course welcome to suffer as much as you wish, as that would be your choice, but how dare you tell others what they must endure!
Let’s take just three case examples using your twisted logic. Thousands more are readily available.
Jason, a victim as a young child of the paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale. You can read that Jason is certainly undergoing “the challenges and trials of life” and then you try to tell us that in some warped way your God is using these challenges to “train” Jason and make him “better”!!!!
Jason: “In 1976, when I was turning 13, I was attending the Mercy Nuns convent (St Malachy’s) at Edenhope. Father Gerry Ridsdale lived right near the school and he was the school manager. I was an altar boy and he was always asking me to come to his house, saying that he had some jobs for me to do there. My mother used to insist that I should go.
“He used to assault me at his house, in his car and at the church (including at the altar when the church was empty and locked). This went on for two years. He did everything to me that you can imagine. He penetrated me countless times.
“After each molestation, he would grant me Absolution,……”
(Ref: http://www.brokenrites.org.au/drupal/node/55 )
Flora, had been suffering from Multiple Sclerosis for 40 years, and for the last two years she was, quite rationally, pleading for help to die. Yet you are stating that these years of suffering are to “train” Flora and her loving daughter Tracey. You state Flora’s suffering is “God’s plan” and then cruelly say that Flora’s plea for assistance to die is her “vain attempt” to reject this plan of God.
Flora, pictured here in her last days, dying from Multiple Sclerosis. (Right, before her MS)
Her daughter, Tracey Taylor said: ‘Mum was just left to suffer – it was torture, absolute torture. We were all around her when she passed but it wasn’t peaceful. These pictures are what people need to see – this is why we are fighting for the right to die. There wasn’t a thing we could do to help free her from her pain. We had morphine and sleeping pills and she begged us to help her end it, but we couldn’t. She was like a prisoner of war who had been in a concentration camp.So why is it OK for a human to suffer? The Government need to see why people want the choice to decide when to die.’ (Ref: https://www.facebook.com/shoutforflora/ )
Example 3. “RIP Keith”. It is impossible to understand why you have no EMPATHY for Keith in his time of need!. You are brutally suggesting that Joan is being somehow “trained” to make her a “better” person!!
RIP Keith Died October 26 2013, aged 85 years
Joan says: I’m writing to state my case for the legislation of choice for an assisted death. On Friday 1 November 2013 I buried my husband of 61 years. Early this year he was diagnosed with aggressive Lymphoma which was strangling his Intestine. Sounds horrendous, doesn’t it?
His final 3 days were spent in hospital and on the 3rd night he lapsed into semiconsciousness. He had been having litres of fluid drained from his abdomen at intervals during the treatment process and in the early hours of the 4th day fluid in large quantities continued to rise into his throat as he was gurgling and drowning while he struggled dreadfully to get a breath. All the while he kept raising his hand to his head imploring someone to help him. This inhumane action continued without ceasing for 7 hours!! ! How I wished we lived in a compassionate, loving society that approved an injection that would save him from this hideous state.
A Nurse entered the room towards the end, saying, “I have been crying reading his Advanced Health Directive where he wrote that it was his wish to have some kind person euthanise him.” This document had been signed by him, a Doctor and a Justice of the Peace some years ago but of course that wish is entirely overlooked by Australian Law at the present time. It was just his wish – as it was mine. Towards the end, one and a half litres of blood soaked fluid gushed out of his mouth before he took his final breath.
Those hours will haunt me forever. Why should anyone die that horribly?
When it’s your own family having to endure this cruel, inhumanity and it’s you sitting beside the bed waiting and wishing someone had bitten the bullet for change on this grievous, outmoded law of ours, you feel and know the need of the urgency for change. As a practising Christian couple we viewed the present law as ungodly. We are God’s hands and feet, he has no other, and while we do nothing this horrendous practice will continue. Please, please be strong enough to give the Ending Life with Dignity (No2) Bill 2013 the thumbs up. The majority of Australians would be enormously relieved. South Australia would be
Sincerely, Joan S A Christians supporting Choice for V.E. member
As requested I’m forwarding my plea to your S.A. Pollies – all of them. Feel free to send this to your local paper should you feel inclined. Fond wishes and I pray that God’s blessing be upon you and yours. Joan S.
Note by Ian Wood.
Joan prepared this plea in early 2014 to go the South Australian politicians, and has since endorsed it to go to all MPs throughout Australia. It is included in the book The Damage Done, published by Go Gentle Australia and Andrew Denton.
Joan, a committed Christian, pleads that our politicians support Voluntary Assisted Dying choice.
A sermon from Rev Craig Kilgour, of NZ, whose nephew had an assisted death in Canada, sums up the considered, compassionate Christian approach in support of Voluntary Assisted Dying choice.
Conclusion of Rev Kigour’s sermon …….
Let me finish this with what my family members said and repeated often using these words about my nephew’s death: It was compassionate, it was humane, it was right and good.
And the family are very proud and humbled with the courage he showed in his battle with cancer. And to me no one has the right to be critical and judgmental of the choice he made.
So for me and my family this is not a philosophical debate, it is not a theological debate, it is not a theoretical debate, it is a reality and it was right, and my nephew was fortunate he lived in Canada.
Mr Iles. To re-iterate. Please spare all thinking Australians from the imposition of your bigoted views on us.
Additional comment from our Patron, Rev Dr Craig de Vos
Many oppose voluntary assisted dying by arguing that it’s playing God. But so is artificially prolonging life. And so is allowing people to suffer a horrific death when there are more humane options. This is not consistent with the compassionate, empathetic God whom I see in Jesus––a Jesus who spent much of his earthly life working to ease and eliminate human suffering. ‘Voluntary Assisted Dying’ is not just consistent with that. It is, in fact, a continuation of the
ministry of Jesus.