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Creative Commons / Alberto Biscalchin
UK News

New report: assisted dying does not equal dignity in death

by Tola Mbakwe

Published by the religion think-tank Theos, it stated the answer actually lies in having better end of life care.

Elizabeth Oldfield, director of Theos told Premier how the Christian community could improve end of life care.

 

"You could give to or volunteer at your local hospice.

"They're very often wonderful places where people's dignity is protected and if you will invest those and churches get involved in those we'll see even higher levels of end of life palliative care there.

"True dignity in death would come from investing the necessary time, money and resources into high-quality end of life care."

The report was based on a range of interviews with doctors, nurses and hospital and hospice chaplains.

Oldfield also stated it is vital to listen when those in long term care feel like a burden or that their worth is diminished.

However the Rt Rev Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham, disagrees with the Theos report.

He's urged for assisted dying laws in the UK relaxed.

"The law we have right now has not kept pace with changes in the last 50 or 60 years," he said.

He also rebuked the idea that patients had to choose between better care and a dignified death, claiming "good palliative care puts the person in the centre and what they consider to be a dignified death."

When asked if God want us to control when we die, Rev Wilson said God wouldn't mind.

"Life is a gift to us and if the time comes when I were to feel that I must give the gift back to Him, in extreme circumstances, I don't think He would want to take that away from me."

Listen to Elizabeth Oldfield, director of Theos speaking with Premier's Inspirational Breakfast presenters John Pantry and Rosie Wright:

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