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
Rev Dr Marvin Ellison of Maine USA, makes a powerful statement of Christian support for voluntary assisted dying in his opinion piece published in the Portland Press Herald, Maine, USA –
Maine Voices: In name of mercy, Maine Death With Dignity belongs on ballot
The measure [to include this in a referendum] would offer the dying an option to minimize needless suffering.
The original opinion piece title was more provocative – Rev Ellison has said he called it: “”Thou Shall Not Torture the Dying.”
Here are some quotes from Rev Ellison. I do urge viewers of this post to read the full article at the link below.
“As a person of faith, ordained minister and professor of Christian ethics for more than three decades, I’m committed to seeking peace, justice and compassion in all things.”
“My religious tradition calls on the faithful to help reduce suffering in the world, including suffering at the bedside of those dying. For many, palliative care offers the comfort and support necessary to ease their way to a good death, but alas, palliative care is not always adequate to the task.”
“For others in the dying process, despite receiving the best palliative care, they find themselves ready to die, but unable to die. Too often they face a torturous ending. 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.”
“As a person of faith, I hope and pray that Maine will join California, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia and make assisted dying legally available, allowing adults of sound mind to make their own value choices at the end of life. Doing so, I suggest, is a faithful, principled, and compassionate way to affirm the dignity and well-being of the living and the dying.”
Rev Dr Marvin Ellison, a Willard S. Bass Professor Emeritus of Christian Ethics at Bangor Theological Seminary, USA, is a scholar-activist and ordained Presbyterian minister.