Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu Wants ‘Right to Assisted Death’

Photo Credit: Dale Frost
Photo Credit: Dale Frost

(BBC) South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu has revealed that he wants to have the option of an assisted death.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate and anti-apartheid campaigner said that he did “not wish to be kept alive at all costs,” writing in the Washington Post newspaper on his 85th birthday.

Mr. Tutu came out in favor of assisted dying in 2014, without specifying if he personally wanted to have the choice.

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  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Anglican… Doctrines and faith practices count for human life.

  • https://www.facebook.com/doug.bristow3 Doug Bristow

    He wants the right to an assisted death?

    Take him out and shoot him. That should be all the assistance he needs.

  • http://www.gmail.com/ David van Heerden

    Why is Desmond Tutu in a hurry to get to his place in hell? Shouldn’t he rather believe the gospel and live, or is he too far gone?

    • Amos Moses

      Demon Tutu ……..

  • hytre64✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    IMHO, there is a big difference between being allowed to die by refusing extreme medical treatment and actually requesting and receiving a terminal shot. The first is allowing nature to take its course – and can be handled with palliative care to reduce any pain. The second is suicide/murder – ie. playing god with the life of the patient.

    • james blue

      I hope you never have to face a painful terminal illness, but if you do I would respect whatever choice you make in how to deal with it. As long as you are mentally competent, whatever you decide it should be your decision,

      • hytre64✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        The decision of the patient… The patient will answer to God. The decision of the patient then affects the physician (who will also have to answer for it), affects the patient’s family, and is enabled by the government who would allow the euthanasia.

        Euthanasia has been approved by governments for minors, for those who are depressed, and for reasons other than terminal illness with untreatable pain.

        • Amos Moses

          They are now allowing 6 YO to “choose to die” in the EU …..

          Assisted Suicide: Not for Adults Only? | Patients Rights Council
          The Dutch proposal regarding children did get support from other right-to-die activists, but … Older teens (those who are 16 or 17-years old) would be able to demand ….. On behalf of a terminally ill patient under the age of 6 by the patient’s …

          Physically healthy 24-year-old granted right to die in Belgium
          By Eilish O’Gara On 6/29/15 at 7:17 PM. 24-year-old right to die Belgium According to national statistics, there are increasing numbers of young people …

      • Amos Moses

        Yep … how “competent” is a 6-12 year old …………..

        “Promoting Infanticide in Newsweek“
        (National Review — September 5, 2016)
        “Now in Newsweek, Cornell Law School professor Sherry F. Colb uses the Zika tragedy to promote infanticide:”…. [Colb writes], “As a moral matter, some might want to argue that the lives of infants may be so compromised by defects, as would be the case for many of these babies, that killing them painlessly at birth would be a kindness rather than a harm.”

        “Terminally ill children as young as 12 should have euthanasia choice, expert panel urges”
        (National Post — Canada — December 14, 2015)
        Terminally ill children as young as 12 should be given the option of physician-assisted death, an expert panel advising the provinces says in a report expected to shift the euthanasia debate into a whole new realm.
        The nine-member committee argues there should be no “arbitrary age limits” for assisted death…Its final report lists 43 recommendations, from criteria to qualify for a lethal injection or doctor-prescribed drug overdose, to the obligation of doctors.

        “Under 12s have right to die: Dutch paediatricians”
        (Times Live — June 19 2015)
        “We feel that an arbitrary age limit such as 12 should be changed and that each child’s ability to ask to die should be evaluated in a case-by-case basis,” said Eduard Verhagen, paediatrics professor at Groningen University….A change in the law would bring the Netherlands in line with Belgium, which in 2014 became the first country in the world to pass a law allowing euthanasia for a young child who has the “discernment” necessary to decide to give up life.

        covenant with death ……… that is what you are promoting ………… gee, if under 12s can “consent to death” ….. they should be able to “consent to sex” …. and pedophiles will be legal ………. /SMH ……………..

        • james blue

          If you are going to create a straw man to argue against please reply to your own comments with him.

          • Amos Moses

            Not a strawman….. if you support right to die …. why would you draw an imaginary line for children …

          • james blue

            You support the right for heterosexuals to marry, so why are you okay with a grown man marrying a 6 year old?…. if you support right to marry …. why would you draw an imaginary line for children….

            See what I did there?

          • Amos Moses

            i see what you did not do ……….. and as usual you try to confuse the issue …… the “right to die” is being extended to younger and younger people ….. and it has been a false argument longer than the “right to marry whom we love” ….. a barrier has been crossed and you have no basis to set up any other imaginary barrier …….

          • hytre64✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            “A terminally-ill minor has become the first to be helped to die by doctors in Belgium since age restrictions on euthanasia were lifted two years ago.” – Sep 16, 2016

          • james blue

            17 year old

          • hytre64✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Here in the Land O’ Lincoln, a 17 year old is not old enough to consent to have sex, to get a tattoo, to purchase or consume liquor, to vote, to sign a contract,…

          • james blue

            But old enough to be tried as an adult in a court of law.

          • hytre64✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            It depends on the seriousness of the crime (ie. rape/murder) and if the dependant has a criminal history.

          • james blue

            So your age argument IS negotiable?

          • hytre64✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            For our legal system to charge a minor as an adult, it takes the authorization of at least two adults in positions of authority (Judge & DA) and there are strict rules about when these can apply. A minor cannot just volunteer to be charged as an adult.

          • james blue

            And a 17 year old cannot be deemed competent to be allow to decide when faced with terminal illness?

            If you had consistency in your argument you would have said you don’t agree with the system that allows minors to be charged as adults

          • Bob Johnson

            And the church considers the Age of Reason to be 7 years old. This is deemed the age that a person is morally responsible

          • hytre64✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            It is my understanding that the rational part of a teen’s brain isn’t fully developed and won’t be until he or she is 25 years old or so. In fact, IIRC, recent research has found that adult and teen brains work differently. Adults think with the prefrontal cortex, the brain’s rational part.

            The “Age of Reason” is the time of life when one begins to be able to distinguish right from wrong. It does not mean that you have a full comprehension of Right & Wrong and have a clear Adult through process.

          • Bob Johnson

            Current scientific understanding of brain development is not the moral issue.

            The question is religious discernment of right and wrong. Can a High School student commit a sin? Are teenagers morally responsible for theft, sex. or the breaking of other commandments? Can you punish a child for lying?

          • hytre64✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Notice that I said that the “Age of Reason” is the time when one begins to understand the difference between right and wrong.

            Can children commit sin? As a Father of Six, I can authoritatively tell you, “Yes they can”. They have a limited understanding of Right vs. Wrong, but not always the full mental capability to completely comprehend why their actions were wrong, only that they violated Mom & Dad’s rules. They also don’t necessarily understand the difference between minor infractions and major ones (ie. he stole my toy, so it was OK that I killed him to get it back).

            Yes, you can and I have punished children for lying. THAT is how we trained our children NOT to lie. If they committed an offense and then lied about it, they received triple the punishment – once for the offense and a double punishment for lying.

            There is also a difference between God’s judgement of moral responsibility and human legal culpability. Jesus said that if you broke just ONE part of the Law, then you are guilty of violating the WHOLE of the LAW – and there is only ONE punishment for Sin, namely death/eternal separation from God.

            Civily – we do allow for a difference in the comprehension of children vs. adults. Unless the crime is sufficiently heinous, children are allowed to be handled by special courts, be housed away from adult prisoners, and have their records expunged.

            IMHO – Children do not have a full comprehension of death. Teenagers (especially males) tend to believe that they personally are immortal. Bad stuff might happen to those around them, but it won’t happen to them. That is why 18 year old males are recruited to be front-line soldiers.

          • Bob Johnson

            You seem to be making my case for me. Instructing a child they have sinned, either stealing or lying, and admonishing them not to do it again is one thing – teaching. However, punishing someone when you claim they do not have the capability to understand is both cruel and unfair. Even our secular legal system provides different penalties for persons of limited comprehension even for adults.

            Since suicide is a sin and not illegal, the only concerns here should be is the person capable of understanding the decision they are making? And if as you state, teenagers (particularly males) believe they are personally immortal, then understanding that they are about to die and taking an active step to achieve that end seems to me that the person is overcoming the normal teenage instinct and has achieved that Age of Reason.

            Yes, assisted suicide may not be the choice you or I would make, and certainly many safeguards must be in place for people of any age, but the final choice is theirs – soon or sooner.

          • Bob Johnson

            “the rational part of a teen’s brain isn’t fully developed and won’t be until he or she is 25 years old or so.”
            and
            “That is why 18 year old males are recruited to be front-line soldiers.”

            Are we, as a nation, being morally delinquent to allow persons who cannot completely understand the moral implications of their actions to be allowed to enter the military.

  • james blue

    Nobody should be forced to participate, but if people decide to end their time on this earth that should be their right as it is your right to “wait it out”

    • hytre64✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      Does that “forced to participate” include (A) the patients (assuming that they are conscious and able to make the decision, not having it forced upon them) (B) the Physician (C) the institution housing the patient (Salvation Army in Switzerland just lost that appeal) and (D) the public/insurance that is paying for the terminal shot to be delivered?

      • james blue

        What did I write that would suggest any of that? Was did I write that could be open to interpretation to mean anything other than what it says?

        • hytre64✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

          “Nobody should be forced to participate”

          Participation goes well beyond the patient who is being killed.

          • james blue

            And? What do you think “Nobody should be forced to participate” means?

          • hytre64✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            The person giving permission for the killing is participating (may not be the patient)
            The person receiving the shot is participating
            The psychiatrist giving approval to the killing is participating (mandatory in some countries)
            The person plunging the needle is participating in the killing
            The person providing the location and the drugs is participating
            The person paying for the killing is participating.

            What do you mean by participating?

          • james blue

            Not sure why you are making the first line but any of those things meets the definition. Still doesn’t explain what you are finding confusing about my comment.

          • hytre64✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            You will note in my previous comment that the Salvation Army just lost a court case on being forced to allow location/drugs for euthenasia at medical facilities that they were providing.

            Here in the US, some pharmacies are no longer being given the option of not carrying abortificants for religious/personal conviction.

            Hospitals are in lawsuits about forcing them to participate in abortions against the will of the owners of the hospitals.

            I can easily see the same forced participation if euthanasia becomes legal.

            The other “forced participants” I can see are the family and friends of the person being killed.

          • james blue

            Again,

            What did I write that could be open to interpretation to mean anything other than what it says?