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World News

Presbyterian Church of Ireland: Assisted dying ‘not the hallmark of compassionate society’

by Kelly Valencia

The Presbyterian Church of Ireland has expressed its concerns regarding the recent report proposing the legalization of assisted dying in specific circumstances.

he report from the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Assisted Dying suggests permitting assisted dying for individuals with a prognosis of six months to live, or twelve months for those with certain neurodegenerative conditions.

However, for the church’s convener of the Council for Public Affairs, Rev Daniel Kane, the report “it is not, in anyway, the hallmark of a mature, caring and compassionate society”.

He said: “Changing the law to permit assisted suicide and euthanasia raises the most fundamental of questions about the value that we place as a society on human life. For people of faith, and indeed no faith, human life, its preservation, its dignity, and its protection, are moral and precious values, which society casts off at its peril."

The committee proposes safeguarding the right to conscientious objection for all medical professionals involved in assisted dying and criminalizing coercion into such practices under the law.

Rev Kane continued: “While we need to process the detail of both the report and the minority report, the fact that two reports were published is a clear demonstration of the deep divisions that exist over this fundamental and sensitive issue.

"The mainstreaming, investing in and strengthening of palliative care services to support those who are nearing the end of their lives must be the focus and priority. The current direction of travel, that will impact on some of the most vulnerable people in our society is not, in any way, the hallmark of a mature, caring and compassionate society," he added.


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