Thursday, January 19, 2006

Bishop Spong on "Death with Dignity"

The following statement was made regarding the Supreme Court's decision in the case of Gonzales vs. the State of Oregon.

open quoteAffirming choice as a human right at the last phase of life requires a shift in thinking about death. Death is not evil or sinful; rather, it is as natural as our birth. Each of life's stages, including the last, must be embraced with vigor.

I challenge those who see the Supreme Court's decision as a harbinger of abuse – who imagine scenarios of state-ordered executions of the elderly or health maintenance organizations curtailing medical payments until a quick death is achieved. The risk of abuse can be eliminated by investing this life-and-death decision solely with the affected individual. Results of Oregon's seven-year experience with the aid-in-dying law show NO evidence of abuse.

The right to a good death is a basic human freedom. The Supreme Court's decision to uphold aid in dying allows us to view and act on death as a dignified moral and godly choice for those suffering with terminal illnesses.

-- Bishop John Shelby Spong

You can read the whole piece here.

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