Assisted suicide is a massive issue today. What's the Catholic view and what's the role of palliative care in resisting the culture of death?
Dr David Jones (below) knows all about the issues. He is Professor of Bioethics at St Mary's University in Twickenham and speaks at our Bioethics Day at the Gillis Centre, Edinburgh, on Saturday 25th January.
He will give a Catholic view of assisted suicide focusing on the theological, pastoral and legalistic issues. He will also describe his experience as Director of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre in Oxford.
Evelyn Howie has fascinating first-hand experience of end-of-life issues. She was a senior palliative care nurse at St Columba's Hospice in Edinburgh for many years. She will describe her work and the role holistic care plays in providing comfort, love and peace to those nearing the end of their life.
At this year's SPUC Scotland conference, delegates heard about the combined efforts of medical groups and politicians to embed the practice of assisted suicide into the United Kingdom.
It follows the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) announcing that its position on assisted suicide would move from one of opposition to neutrality.
Dr Gordon Macdonald, of Care Not Killing, warned that politicians were steadily beginning to embrace the concept of assisted suicide. In 2010, 65.9% of Westminster politicians opposed assisted suicide. However, currently, only 35.6% of Westminster politicians oppose assisted suicide with 37.5% ‘unknown’.
SPUC Deputy Chief Executive, John Deighan said: “There is a concerted move by the euthanasia lobby to get the medical bodies on side before attempting legislation. They appear to have identified the move to a neutral position as a way of gaining momentum for their cause.
“We must work to enhance life for sick, disabled and elderly people, not pass a law which offers them death as a solution to their problems.
“The current law protects every citizen, especially the elderly, sick and disabled. Offering people the choice to end their lives creates unacceptable pressure for them to choose death. It is vital that we resist all attempts to embed the abhorrent practice of assisted suicide into society".
Bioethics Day, Gillis Centre, 100 Stathearn Road, Edinburgh. 11:00am to 2:30pm (registration from 10:30am). Light lunch provided. Register now for this free event at Eventbrite.