Also known as Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Euthanasia

Tag: Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Assisted Dying (Page 1 of 3)

Sept 22nd 2021 marks 25 years since the first legal assisted death of Bob Dent in NT and 4 years since the tragic dying of Elizabeth Holmes in NSW

On September 22, 2021, we recall the first legal assisted death in Australia, in fact in the world, that of Bob Dent in the Northern Territory on September 22, 1996, 25 years ago.  Bob had suffered from prostate cancer.  We thank Marshall Perron, who, as the Chief Minister of the NT, initiated this legislation.  Sadly, this legislation was overturned by Federal Parliament the following year by the Howard Government by what has been known as the Andrews Bill.  We acknowledge Bob’s wife, Judy, who, as President of the NTVES (NT Voluntary Euthanasia Society), has been lobbying for 25 years to have the Right of the Territory restored to the NT Parliament to enact a VAD Bill.

Tragically, on the same date, September 22, but in 2017, Elizabeth Holmes, who had been in agony for some time from stage 4 breast cancer and other serious health problems, decided the only way to relieve her suffering was to take her own life in Tamworth, New South Wales.  As Elizabeth (Liz) noted just prior to her death, this desperate action could have been avoided if NSW had had a Voluntary Assisted Dying Law.  Such a law would have given Liz a compassionate extra choice in the manner of her dying.

New South Wales is now the only state remaining without a VAD law,  It is time!  COVID-19  has made many of us contemplate our dying and should not be used as a reason for delaying legislation.

This following speech by Sandra Nelson, MLA for Katherine, NT,   talks of the circumstances prior to the death of Elizabeth Holmes.  It is surely yet another reason why a Voluntary Assisted Dying  law is needed  in New South Wales.           The speech has now been shared with all NSW Members of Parliament by Elizabeth Holmes’ daughter.
Posted here, including photos, with permission. 

ADJOURNMENT – EUTHANASIA
23 November 2017
Madam Speaker, I rise tonight to commend Premier of Victoria – Daniel Andrews and his government on the historic passing of voluntary euthanasia laws which were passed in Victoria’s Upper House on Wednesday 22nd November.
Madam Speaker , There are few topics as popular, and yet divisive, as euthanasia. Both sides raise compelling arguments, and those arguments are numerous.

End of life care for the terminally ill or those with ir-remediable illnesses is dictated by law, regardless of what is in the best interests of the patient. The current prohibition on assisted suicide is at odds with our otherwise patient-centred health system, it’s almost contradictory. This is the one area of medical care in which the patient’s views cannot be considered and taken into account in determining a course of action.

Many of those who would seek assisted suicide are not physically capable of taking their own life. Even where a person is capable of taking action themselves, it is my opinion that it is barbaric to leave them with the choice between a potentially long and undignified death or violent options to take their own life.

The Northern Territory likes to think of itself as frontier country – it was certainly at the forefront of the international debate over euthanasia. On 25 May 1995 it became the first jurisdiction in the world to pass laws allowing a doctor to end the life of a terminally ill patient at the patient’s request. In doing so, the law permitted both physician-assisted suicide, and active voluntary euthanasia in some circumstances.

And under the Rights of the Terminally Ill Act 1995 (NT) strict conditions applied: it is neither an unqualified ‘licence to kill’ nor an unqualified affirmation of a competent adult patient’s right to assistance in dying.

Madam Speaker, a couple of weeks ago I was visited in my electorate office by Sharon Cramp and her husband Spud.
Sharon and Spud shared with me the story about Sharon’s beautiful mother, Elizabeth Ann Holmes. Liz broke her back when she was 53, she battled breast cancer for 12 years, and had Continue reading

“There is nothing holy about agony” – UK religious people and leaders support assisted dying too!

There is nothing holy about agony: religious people and leaders support assisted dying too

My thanks to the BMJ for publishing the following article.  Ian Wood, Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Assisted Dying Group, Australia.

BMJ 2021; 374 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n2094 (Published 09 September 2021)                                                              Cite this as: BMJ 2021;374:n2094

Jonathan Romain, rabbi and vice chair,  

George Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury

A new alliance of faith leaders has formed to ensure the voice of religious proponents of legalised assisted dying is heard. The former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey and rabbi Jonathan Romain argue that nothing in the scripture directly prohibits assisting a death to end suffering.

We are leaders of a new religious alliance in support of doctor assisted dying (along with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Reverend Canon Rosie Harper). We have launched this initiative because we are concerned about the impression being conveyed that all faith groups are implacably opposed to changes in the law to help people longing to die on their own terms, without discomfort, indignity, or extreme pain. This is not the case. A massive change is going on in religious attitudes to assisted dying (by which a person is given a prescription for life ending drugs, which they themselves then order and take). Not least the fact that most church goers are in favour of assisted dying; a 2019 poll, for example, found that 84% of the British public, 82% of Christians, and about 80% of religious people overall supported assisted dying for terminally ill, mentally competent adults.1

Far from being modern, the problem of having to endure a painful end to your life has long been recognised in religious circles. The Book of Ecclesiasticus, for example, which is accepted in the Roman Catholic canon and is non-canonical but esteemed for Jewish and Protestant people, even expresses the view that “Death is better than a miserable life, and eternal rest than chronic sickness” (30:17).

More than physical suffering

A key motivation for people who want to die is the desire to avoid pain. It is not just physical suffering that appals them, but a range of other situations: the humiliation (in their eyes) of failing powers; the limitation of their ability to enjoy life; their dependency on other people; the lack of control over their bodily functions; the sense that they have nothing to look forward to, except ever worsening decline; and the unwelcome image of being sedated into a state of narcotic stupor in their final days, or with their bodies sprouting a forest of tubes.

Of course, many people regard such a death as a regrettable part of the natural cycle of life, to be mitigated through medical care if possible and to be endured if not. That is entirely their prerogative and must be respected. But should people who want to avoid pain and indignity in death have the right to do so? And should other people have the right to prevent them making that choice about their own life?

Who chooses when?

A biblical passage that—deliberately or accidentally—may be relevant to the challenge today is the famous line in the Hebrew Bible and Old Testament: “There is a time to be born and a time to die” (Ecclesiastes 3.2). Notably, it does not say who chooses that time. In previous eras, theologians and leaders assumed that both were pre-ordained by God and that any human interference was sinful, but now it can be read differently. The time to die could just as well be our decision.

Some mainstream faith leaders might claim that this is contradicted by the verse from Job: “God gives and God takes” (1:21), and we cannot usurp that prerogative. Yet the God barrier has long been pushed aside both at the beginning and end of life, with humans acting in lieu of God, whether by doctors’ efforts to create life using test tubes or to postpone death through heart transplants.

If the religious ideal is to imitate God’s ways, then it is our duty to use our God given abilities as much as possible. We could argue, therefore, that assisted dying is part of the constant act of playing God in the sense that God wants us to help people in distress: to heal where possible, to comfort when needed, and to help Continue reading

South Australia passes Voluntary Assisted Dying law!

After 25 years and 17 Bills, South Australia has become the fourth Australian state to pass a Voluntary Assisted Dying law!  24th June, 2021.

By working together we have made this happen!

Our grateful thanks go to Kyam Maher MLC for initiating this Bill in memory of his Mother, Viv.  What an outstanding memorial!!  Thanks also go to Dr Susan Close for her contribution in the House of Assembly.  Then more thanks to all involved in the campaign including the VADSA team led by Frances Coombe, together with Anne Bunning, Susie Byrne, and Julia Anaf.  Plus Dr Roger Hunt, Jane Qualmann, Angie Miller, Kym Watson, Rev Michael Dowling and Rev Dr Craig de Vos have all been invaluable SA advocates for compassionate end-of- life choice. Apologies to those I have omitted!

At this time we also remember with gratitude those campaigners who have died waiting for the law to be passed.  These include our group Co-founder, Rev Trevor Bensch, our former Patron Kym Bonython, Bob Such MP and folk such as Mary Gallnor.

Others outside of SA who have mentored and assisted me to reach this stage include Tanya Battel, Penny Hackett, Shayne Higson, Geoffrey Williams, Adrian Price, Rev Ken Devereux, Mike Gaffney and Norma Jamieson, also Andrew Denton and Kiki Paul of Go Gentle Australia, ……………

Now we shift our focus to Queensland, New South Wales and the 2 Continue reading

A Christian responds to QLD Bishop Timothy Harris and his article against voluntary assisted dying choice

The Townsville Bulletin published a Letter to the Editor from Townsville Catholic Bishop Timothy Harris on 2.6.2021.

I responded with the following letter to editor, which has not been published by the Bulletin.

A Christian response to Catholic Bishop Harris “VAD Laws need rethink”, 2.6.2021

Bishop Harris states: VAD “laws will result in more deaths”.  Fact: these patients are already dying – there will not be any more deaths, just less horrific suffering as that life ends.

Fact: While there will always be a place for good palliative care – no amount of money or advancements will ever provide the required level of relief of all suffering.

Harris quotes Paul Keating against VAD Choice!  Fact:  What on earth are Keating’s qualifications to allow him to pontificate on how other Australians should suffer and die?

Harris states: “society will never be the same again”.  I imagine a similar remark was made at the end of the Catholic Inquisition, with the abolition of slavery and when women were allowed to have pain relief during childbirth!  Hopefully we can say the same when there are no longer any paedophile priests?

Fact: A significant majority of Australians have stopped, have thought rationally, and decided that a change in our society is needed to allow the option to choose a Voluntary Assisted Death.

Bishop Harris is welcome to maintain his medieval outlook on dying but how dare he try to impose his views on all other Australians, including a majority of Christians.

Ian Wood                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               National Spokesperson for Christians Supporting Choice for VAD                                                                                                        Mittagong  NSW

Here is the Bishop’s letter that I was responding to …….. Continue reading

Candles for Compassion event, Mt Gambier, SA, Friday 21st May 2021

If you live in the Mount Gambier area of South Australia,  please come with a friend and support this event.  If you have friends and family living there, encourage them to come and show their support for the choice of Voluntary Assisted Dying.

The encouraging news from South Australia is that on Wednesday 5th May 2021 the Legislative Council voted 14 yes and 7 No to pass the Kyam Maher MLC, Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill.  It now goes to the Lower House for consideration and Premier Marshall has indicated debate could start there as early as Wednesday 12th May.

Candles for Compassion will go ahead, either to continue to show MPs that legislation for compassionate end-of-life choice is needed, or to say thank you to the MPs who voted to pass the VAD Bill and as a Continue reading

Rev Michael Dowling presentation to South Australian MPs

Please note that the views expressed by Michael Dowling do not reflect the views of the Uniting Church in South Australia, which currently has no policy on Voluntary Assisted Dying.

Our South Australian Representative, Rev Michael Dowling, gave an excellent presentation to members of the SA Parliament on Tuesday 16th March 2021, prior to debate starting on the latest Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill.  Dr Roger Hunt and Susie Byrne also spoke in support of VAD representing doctors and nurses, respectively.

Here is Rev Dowling’s presentation, in full, published with permission…….

Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you as the local representative for Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Assisted Dying. It’s a privilege to be involved in this important discussion.

I suspect that some of you here today identify with a particular religious tradition, and that some do not. When it comes to the matter at hand – VAD legislation – I wish to address both groups; and I wish to do so in a way that moves beyond religious stereotypes, stereotypes based upon very vocal adherents of a particular viewpoint; stereotypes that propagate the myth of a monolithic “Christian view” on social issues; that, for example, all Christians oppose gay marriage; that all Christians wish to criminalise abortion; and that all Christians oppose voluntary assisted dying (VAD). Such is not the case. Within the Christian faith there is a wide variety of views on these subjects.

In particular reference to VAD…

The group I represent 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.

According to the 2019 “Vote Compass,” some 3 out of 4 Christians in Australia are in favour of legislation for the choice of VAD.

“But how can that be so?!” I hear some of you say.

“Surely the Christian faith and the Bible have a blanket prohibition against voluntary assisted dying?!”

If you thought this, you would be wrong.

As previously mentioned, “Christianity” is far from monolithic when it comes to social views, including views on VAD.

As for the Bible, it has nothing, nothing whatsoever, to say on the specific subject of voluntary assisted dying.

Christian opponents of VAD, if they use the Bible to support their argument, are forced to rely on generalities and then seek to extrapolate from these generalities to the specific case of VAD. They might quote, for example, the biblical commandment, “Thou shall not murder” and then curiously equate murder with VAD. Christian opponents to VAD might also claim the inviolable “sanctity of life,” stating that human life is so sacred that it can never be deliberately ended, even if the person in unrelievable suffering has requested its end.

These arguments can be rebutted on two grounds.

First:

The movement from a prohibition against murdering someone who doesn’t want to be murdered to a prohibition against ending the suffering of someone who fervently requests for their suffering to be ended, is a logical non-sequitur; it just doesn’t follow.

Second:

If the Christian opponents of VAD assert that “sanctity of life” and “prohibition against killing” are timeless and inviolable Christian injunctions, then they are either wilfully ignorant or just plain disingenuous.

If behaviour is any guide, then over the centuries, Christians have been, not infrequently, quite enthusiastic about killing, and quite indifferent to the sanctity of life. Crusades, religious wars, persecutions, pogroms, torture, and burning at the stake have all been conducted by those who could point to holy Scripture for its justification. In more recent times, many conservative Christians in countries such as the United States, are enthusiastic supporters of the death penalty.

The reason that some Christians can quote the Bible, when it suits them, as justification for killing, is that the Bible itself is quite ambivalent about killing, and quite ambivalent about the supposed sanctity of life. Yes, on the one hand, the Bible contains many admonitions to us to love one another. On the other hand, the Old Testament biblical authors, not infrequently, portray a tribalistic God who orders the wholesale genocide of entire groups of people. For some troubling bed-time reading, try Book of Numbers chapter 31, but only if you have a strong stomach.

The Christian Bible says many things that have inspired and motivated the lives of the most sublime and saintly people.

The Christian Bible has also been used to justify the most appalling and callous behaviour.

When we Christians feel compelled to offer ethical advice to the wider society, in this case ethical advice as to the sanctity of life, we would do well to remember Jesus’ adage, an adage as relevant today as it was 2,000 years ago: we should first cast the log out of our own eye before seeking to remove the speck of sawdust from the eye of another.

But when it comes to the specific case of VAD, the Christian Bible says…precisely nothing.

And so, just like other members of our pluralistic society, Christians need to examine the proposed VAD legislation on its merits and with a willingness to engage Continue reading

Ian Wood letter to Editor about Cancer Relay and VAD published in The Recorder, Port Pirie, SA, 19.1.2021

I am delighted that The Recorder Newspaper, Port Pirie, South Australia, published my Letter to the Editor.

To sign the Kyam Maher MLC South Australia “Voluntary Assisted Dying Petition”, please go to > https://www.change.org/p/south-australian-parliament-show-your-support-for-voluntary-assisted-dying-in-south-australia

To check out my name, Ian Wood,  in the Froot Loops Team, Port Pirie Cancer Relay for Life, and to donate if you wish, please go to > https://secure.fundraising.cancer.org.au/site/TR/RelayforLife/CCSA?px=1487886&pg=personal&fr_id=6051

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Letters: Cancer relay call

CHARITABLE: Ian Wood makes a start on his contribution to the Port Pirie Relay for Life as he walks 96 laps around Wills Place where he lives in Mittagong, New South Wales.  [In total I am aiming for 960 laps, 280km].

As a former resident and retired community pharmacist from Port Pirie, I issue a double challenge to the folk of Port Pirie and district, and the wider area of South Australia.

I was very disappointed to read that with 70 days to go, only 5 teams and 12 participants had registered for the Port Pirie Cancer Relay for Life 2021.

Due to Covid-19, the event, an important fundraiser for cancer support and research, is in a different format this year, with participants simply committing to walking 28km in their own time, while still getting sponsorship and donations to the cause.

The 28km was chosen as 28 South Australians are diagnosed with cancer every day.

I challenge the people of Port Pirie, the footy, soccer and netball teams, young and old, boys and girls, to commit to this event.

Please do your bit and register your name online today and/or make a donation!   As a 79-year-old, I have joined a team, the Froot Loops, and will be walking my 28km in NSW. In fact, I don’t think 28km is much of a challenge, so I am aiming to walk 280km before the event date of Saturday 27 March 2021.

My second challenge, to the residents of Port Pirie and indeed the whole of South Australia, is to publicly voice their support for the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill recently put before the SA Parliament by Kyam Maher MLC and Dr Susan Close, MP for Port Adelaide.

I am the National Co-ordinator and Spokesperson of Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Assisted Dying, a group co-founded in 2009 by the late Rev Trevor Bensch of Adelaide and myself.

Every family has been affected in some way by cancer, with my Aunty Doss dying an horrific death from bladder cancer some years ago in the Port Pirie Hospital.

Having a Voluntary Assisted Dying law would enable a compassionate end of life choice, giving all terminal cancer patients the option to avoid that final futile devastating suffering that can still occur despite good palliative care.  Please talk to your local MP now and urge a “yes” vote for the legislation.

Ian Wood,  Mittagong,  New South Wales Continue reading

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

Transparency is needed by groups opposing the Tasmanian End of Life Choices (VAD) Bill 2020.

0PEN LETTER to all Tasmanian MPs, in both the Legislative Council and House of Assembly.  Emailed 2.10.2020

Dear ‘Name of MP’

A very sincere thank you to those MLCs who spoke in support of Mike Gaffney’s End of Life Choices (VAD) Bill 2020, Second Reading, and for voting it through to the Committee stage.

However, we were concerned to see during the debate that misinformation is still being spread about VAD by opposition groups who are not being upfront about their motives. The following information might help clarify the way many of those who oppose VAD are operating to deny this choice to others.

Recently a ‘popup’ group Live and Die Well emerged with the sole aim of defeating the Mike Gaffney Bill now being debated in the Tasmanian Legislative Council.

Who is behind this group? Researcher Neil Francis, of Dying for Choice, has done some digging and we urge you to read his blog https://www.dyingforchoice.com/blogs/hiding-their-religious-petticoats

To summarise Neil’s findings, a key figure with Live and Die Well is Mr Ben Smith, Director of Life, Marriage and Family Office of the Catholic Archdiocese of Hobart. Others in the Live and Die Well team are also prominent Catholics.

Health Professionals Say No is another opposition group. A closer look reveals this group consists largely of Christian medical professionals with the purpose of denying VAD choice to all Australians. We find the same Mr Ben Smith, who signed a recent major advert in Tasmanian media against VAD by this group, had the address as 35 Tower Road New Town Tas 7008 – yes, that of the Catholic Archdiocese Office!

Of course, religious people have a right to publicly oppose VAD as an end of life choice. But two factors should be critical. 1) They must clearly state their opposition is based on their faith and 2) they must present facts – not the hypothetical fear, anxiety and doubt so often used.

Instead, a leaflet put out by Live and Die Well for distribution in a Catholic Parish exhorts parishioners NOT to use religious argument when writing to MPs to oppose VAD. The ultimate in hypocrisy.

Typical of the misleading and unsupported arguments used by these groups against VAD include:

– Claiming that palliative care can alleviate all intolerable suffering, when palliative care itself say this is not possible.

– Using emotive words such as suicide, killing, even murder, when providing a choice in the manner of their death to a person who is already dying is none of these things but a humane and compassionate option.

– using the ‘slippery slope’ argument, which is consistently disproved by experience in Oregon and other jurisdictions, and misrepresenting data from Belgium and the Netherlands.

You might ask why does the Catholic identity of these groups matter? The answer is because the Catholic belief about death and dying is not just a ‘view’, it informs everything they practise in end-of-life care. The Catholic Church believes suffering has intrinsic value because it brings the person closer to the suffering of Jesus Christ on the cross. A person’s suffering provides a valuable opportunity for Catholic health care workers to evangelise the Gospels to the dying person.

You may be aware that the Vatican recently reissued its encyclical, ‘Samaritanus bonus’, on euthanasia and assisted dying, which it calls “intrinsically evil” acts “in every situation or circumstance”. It goes on to describe assisted dying as “a crime”, accusing anyone who even lobbies for such laws as Continue reading

“As a Christian theologian, I can state unequivocally that Maine’s Death with Dignity law is a blessing.” — Reverend Marvin Ellison, PhD

Celebrating the Maine Death with Dignity Act that went into effect 19.9.2019

“It’s a blessing”

The Reverend Marvin Ellison, PhD, a Presbyterian minister and former Willard S. Bass professor of Christian ethics at the Bangor Theological Seminary in Portland, Maine, said his Christian beliefs inform his support for Maine’s law.

“As a Christian theologian, I can state unequivocally that Maine’s Death with Dignity law is a blessing.”

— Reverend Marvin Ellison, PhD

Photo supplied by Rev Ellison.

“It’s a blessing to those at the end of life who are ready to die, but for a variety of reasons are not able to die,” Marvin shared with us. “It’s a blessing to their family and friends, who pray that their loved one will not be forced, against their will, to experience a meaningless and protracted death but rather will have the means, when and if they so wish, to exit more gracefully.“

“It takes spiritual maturity to discern when death is no longer the enemy to resist, but rather has become the friend to welcome,” he added. “I thank God for the gift of Continue reading

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