From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Sydney Archbishop Speaks Out On Euthanasia

Date 06 May 1996 06:14:25

Canon James M. Rosenthal, Director of Communications
Anglican Communion News Service
157 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8UT, England
Tel. 44 0171 620-1110
Fax 44 0171 620-1071

#753 ACC - 2 November 1995 

Sydney Archbishop Speaks Out On Euthanasia

(Australian News and Reports) The Archbishop of Sydney, the Most
Revd Harry Goodhew, has made an impassioned plea for Anglicans to
oppose legalised euthanasia.

During his presidential address to the 1995 Sydney Synod, Archbishop
Goodhew urged the members to imagine the world a hundred years from
now should protections surrounding human life be abandoned.

Even those who do not share a Christian conviction can recognise the
"sombre joyless hue" of a society "dominated by death", he said.

"It is not about turning off machines when life can no longer be
supported, nor is it about accepting unwarranted intrusions into the
life of a patient to maintain life at any cost. It is about
purposeful killing; taking the life of another person.

"It is important to maintain a society where life is valued, and
where compassion and pity express themselves not in a lethal
injection, but in care and medical practises which take people
through the closing stages of life with dignity and without pain."

Archbishop Goodhew was also critical of a planned NSW parliamentary
forum on euthanasia which excluded Churches and representatives from
the aged, disabilities and indigenous communities. The forum was
organised for Monday, 16 October, by the Speaker of the Lower House,
Mr John Murray, and was restricted almost exclusively to speakers
from the medical profession.

"While I am supportive of a parliamentary forum, and I applaud the
initiative of the Speaker, Mr Murray, I appeal to him to reconsider
his decision to exclude Church representatives," Archbishop Goodhew

"Euthanasia cannot be discussed simply from medical, scientific or
even legal perspectives. Euthanasia is not just a technical matter,
nor should it be decided by legislative pragmatists with an eye on
voter support. It is a human issue, and questions of life, death and
meaning have profound moral, ethical and spiritual implications for
both individuals and the wider community."

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