Dignified death

The former Anglican archbishops Desmond Tutu and George Carey have had a Damascene conversion on euthanasia and now back the right of the terminally ill to end their lives in dignity.

They call for a mind shift on the issue of “aid in dying”, arguing that the Church’s insistence on the sanctity of life in all situations has the effect of sanctioning anguish and pain. At the start of a momentous week with the assisted dying debate opening in parliament, it is clear the long brewing division within the Church of England can no longer be hidden. This has already happened in the Church of Scotland where the unified response promoted by its central committees is undermined by leading churchmen debating the issue in the press. The fact is our current laws are incoherent and result in patients flying off to die premature deaths among strangers in Switzerland – surely the ultimate unintended consequence.

Rev Dr John Cameron

Howard Place

St Andrews, Fife