Also known as Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Euthanasia

Tag: Australian Christian Lobby (ACL)

A Christian response to “No Euthanasia Day”

A Christian response to “No Euthanasia Day”

I must admit I am baffled!

I am baffled that the Catholic Leader News, quoting the Salvation Army, (25.9.2020)  is using ‘love your neighbour’ as a reason for opposing Voluntary Assisted Dying!    Prolonging suffering is not an act of love!

I am baffled that the Vatican in their Samaritanus Bonus used the Parable of the Good Samaritan against VAD, and that they are still calling ‘euthanasia’ (VAD) evil and a grave sin.

I am baffled by a Catholic Church that in this century still insists that the use of contraception is intrinsically evil, that it is always immoral regardless of the intentions of the agents, the circumstances of the situation or the consequences of the action,” (Pope Paul VI)

Thankfully, and rationally, 3 out of 4 Catholics have demonstrated they are thinking and compassionate, and that they ignore the religious dogma against voluntary assisted dying just as an even bigger majority ignore the dogma against contraception.

As I stated in my Briefing recently to the Tasmanian Legislative Council, We are Christians who believe that, as a demonstration of love and compassion, those with a terminal or hopeless illness should have the option of a pain-free, peaceful and dignified death with legal voluntary assisted dying.

Our vision essentially is – “Do unto others”, and “Love thy neighbour”, which leads to ‘How is love best served?’

Conservative Christians in the past opposed the abolition of slavery, opposed pain relief in childbirth for women, and opposed women becoming doctors and lawyers – we find a woman who passed her law exams in USA was told by a judge she could not practice as the “Law of the Creator” was she should be a wife and mother.  Conservative Christians opposed voting and property rights for women. In every case this Christian opposition to social change has been proved wrong!

Conservative Christians opposed marriage equality and discussion on sexual orientation.  We believe those Christians were wrong!

We should not forget that the church hierarchy indulged in a massive coverup of paedophile clergy, in many cases leading to the tragic suicide of the innocent victims Clearly those Christians were very wrong!

So how is love best served for a person who is about to die, but has suffering they find unbearable?

The ACL (Australian Christian Lobby) and many church hierarchy say hold that person’s hand, say that we are with you, but let the suffering continue. Where is their Christian empathy, we might well ask? The Vatican go a step further, saying that if the dying person has requested VAD, the chaplain or priest should ask that person, when they are at their most vulnerable, to admit their grave sin and attempt a death bed conversion back to accepting the church abhorrence of VAD. If this fails they should leave the dying person so as not to appear complicit in the VAD.

The Vatican statement and that of the Catholic Leader Newspaper is devoid of empathy for the dying person. They refuse to help the truly vulnerable dying patient to be put in control of their suffering – to say they have endured enough.  Of course, suffering can be much more than pain – drowning in your own saliva from MND, fungating tumours, are just two examples. Three Australian Inquiries have all reached the same conclusion – a VAD law is needed.

 It is significant that Quebec, formerly the most Catholic province in Canada, preceded all of Canada with their Medical Aid in Dying. A 2012 Parliament Report found  “After studying the changes in social values, medicine and the law, and in light of our comprehensive review of the issues and the arguments raised by hundreds of witnesses and thousands of comments, we have come to the conclusion that an additional option is needed in the continuum of end-of-life care: euthanasia, in the form of medical aid in dying. “

This led to the passing of the Quebec “Act respecting end-of life care” Bill 52, by 94 votes to 22 on June 5, 2014, to a standing ovation.

A huge majority of Christians would endorse this conclusion of the Quebec Inquiry.

We need to be aware of the fact that access to VAD is palliative in its own right. Paradoxically, many who are accepted for an assisted death live longer than those who do not request assistance. It removes the toxic fear about how they might die. The Vatican and Catholic Leader would deny the dying that peace of mind. And not only that, by denying the Sacraments to the dying person who even holds a membership to a pro-VAD organisation, it seeks to blackmail into repenting, Continue reading

Ian Wood address to Tasmanian MLC’s in Christian support of VAD choice

I was delighted to be given the opportunity today to address the Tasmanian MLC’s in Christian support for the End of Life Choices (VAD) Bill, introduced by Mike Gaffney, Independent for Mersey, and soon to be debated in the Upper House. Our Tasmanian Representative, Norma Jamieson, also spoke in support.

Address to TAS Parliament MLC’s by Ian Wood.  26.8.2020

Thank you for this opportunity to address you as Spokesperson for Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Assisted Dying.

My background – My name is Ian Wood. I was a community Pharmacist in Port Pirie, South Australia, for 40 years, so that involved caring for people. My wife and I raised two children, and we enjoyed community involvement in heritage conservation, classical music, and entertaining at aged care facilities with music and singing

I had long supported assisted dying choice but became public in support in 2009 when Rev Trevor Bensch, a retired Minister and hospital chaplain at the church I attended, decided that Christians who supported VAD needed a voice and we formed our group.

We are Christians who believe that, as a demonstration of love and compassion, those with a terminal or hopeless illness should have the option of a pain-free, peaceful and dignified death with legal voluntary assisted dying.

We currently have about 1250 member/supporters  Many members have died waiting for legislation.

Our vision essentially is –“Do unto others”, and “Love thy neighbour”, which leads to ‘How is love best served?’

Conservative Christians in the past opposed the abolition of slavery, opposed pain relief in childbirth for women, and opposed women becoming doctors and lawyers – we find a woman who passed her law exams in USA was told by a judge she could not practice as the “Law of the Creator” was she should be a wife and mother.  Conservative Christians opposed voting and property rights for women. In every case this Christian opposition to social change has been proved wrong!

Conservative Christians such as the ACL (Australian Christian Lobby) opposed marriage equality and discussion on sexual orientation.  We believe those Christians were wrong!

With regards to sexual orientation, we find that to its eternal shame many of the church hierarchy indulged in a massive coverup of paedophile clergy, in many cases leading to the tragic suicide of the innocent victims, in a cruel irony with the church opposition to VAD. Clearly those Christians were very wrong!

So how is love best served for a person who is about to die, but has suffering they find unbearable?

The ACL and most church hierarchy say hold that person’s hand, say that we are with you, but let the suffering continue. Where is their Christian empathy, we might well ask? Curiously, the Christian Lobby do not appear to give religious reasons for opposing VAD.

The ACL recent approach in Tasmania has included Headlines such as Continue reading

Ian Wood condemns the Australian Christian Lobby and their quote: “Euthanasia is our vain attempt to deny and reject God’s plan for suffering”.

Copy of letter from Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Assisted Dying.  Please note this letter contains images that are disturbing.

4.11.2019

Mr Martyn Iles
Australian Christian Lobby
Eternity House
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.
Example 1.
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 )

Example 2.
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 Continue reading

The truth about end of life choices – Forum held in Sydney 11.11.2018

 

An outstanding group of experts gave us the facts in this Forum on voluntary assisted dying support. Essential viewing!

The emotional plea by Jan, wife of Tim Edwards, and their daughter, Jessica, who spoke at the meeting about the torturous death of Tim from mesothelioma certainly bought tears to my eyes! I just cannot understand why our MPs continue to ignore such futile suffering, especially those who profess to be Christian. Where is their compassion?

I had the privilege of meeting Tim not long before he died, and together we went to lobby our local MP, Jai Rowell.

Every MP who is against this choice, and all members of the ‘ACL” (Australian Christian Lobby) and the ‘HOPE no euthanasia’ group should watch the complete forum and become familiar with the truth behind the issue, and then perhaps understand why up to 85% of Australians support voluntary assisted dying.

Ian Wood