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Catholic Church uses Easter message to urge against assisted dying

Catholic Church uses Easter message to urge against assisted dying

Sunday 01 April 2018

Catholic Church uses Easter message to urge against assisted dying

Sunday 01 April 2018

The Bishop of the Diocese of Portsmouth has used an Easter message directed at congregations in the Bailiwick, to urge them to rally against any moves to introduce laws enabling assisted dying in Guernsey.

Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth sent a letter to parish priests based in Guernsey last weekend, with the message being read during mass marking Palm Sunday.

The message, which is available to read via the Catholic news agency website was addressed to "the faithful of the Channel Island of Guernsey."

Bishop Egan wrote that "legalizing assisted suicide is a false solution to the sufferings of the terminally ill" and that “someone near the end of life needs emotional support, comfort and care, good pain control, respect and loving communication – not suicide on prescription.” Catholics in the island have been asked to “redouble our efforts to offer this support, not least to anyone tempted to suicide or a hurried death.”

His letter continued, asking "Catholics to mobilize” added that "it is never permissible to do good by an evil means” and that everyone in Guernsey should “redouble the compassionate care of those who are frail and terminally ill.”

Delancey Church  

Pictured: Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Guernsey 

Assisted dying has been discussed widely in Guernsey recently following the lodging of a Requete by Deputy Gavin St Pier, which is calling on the States to look at the laws enabling a change for residents with a diagnosed terminal illness. 

While the British Medical Association has said it is against any change, Deputy St Pier has said he had a positive meeting with the local spokesman for the BMA last week: “I have spoken this week with Dr Brian Parkin, spokesperson of the Guernsey and Alderney Division of the British Medical Association. We both agreed that should there be a decision in principle by the States of Deliberation to proceed with developing a legal and regulatory regime for assisted dying, there would be a need for serious discussion with the medical profession to see if and how it would be possible to overcome the difficulties of having a different law in Guernsey to the U.K.”

Dr Parkin has been unavailable for comment since the above statement was released. 

Other developments over the last week saw assisted dying discussed by the Committee for Health and Social Care, with the committee President tweeting that palliative care had been spoken about.

The States debate on the Requete is due to be held in May. 


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