Bishop doesn’t speak for us all

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Does the Bishop of Hallam speak for all Christians?

In the article, ‘Should we be allowed to legally end our lives?’ (The Star, Aug 28) the Bishop of Hallam says that all Christian Churches oppose euthanasia in any form.

It would be wrong to presume that he speaks for all Christians, or indeed spiritual people in general.

It is true that the Roman Catholic Church has spoken out against euthanasia, but the Anglican Church, in dismissing the Falconer Commission’s proposals, provided no basis for rejection in principal and that well-known Christian theologian, the Rev Professor Paul Badham, has consistently argued the Christian case for assisted dying.

We, in the Unitarian and Free Christian Churches, take this most delicate of subjects extremely seriously and have recently released a discussion document that is available for all to read at www.fulwood-old-chapel.org.uk

We hope that by properly understanding the issues and taking time to reflect upon the consequences we can all come to a more reasoned view.

Understanding this subject properly, as I have found, requires considerable effort.

I have been to Dignitas, talked to experts in palliative care and medical ethics, listened to people’s personal stories and, with the help of our spiritual leaders, reflected upon the gift of life and the gift of death.

If there is one thing I have learned, it is that there is no straightforward answer, but must we condemn people like Tony Nicklinson to the sort of death he had to suffer against his wishes?

Robert Ince, chairman of Fulwood Old Chapel and president of Sheffield and District Association of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches