A special forum on Euthanasia was held on Respect Life Sunday, 14th October 2012.
Life is full of blessings, challenges and opportunities. Even dying brings its own unique blessings, challenges and opportunities. 'Dying well is as important as reaching our potential at school and at work, or finding happiness and fulfilment within our families and with our friends.
At one level the euthanasia debate may be understood as a disagreement about what it means to die well.
Euthanasia is seen by many as a compassionate response to the challenges that illness or disability may bring. How might we to respond to this?
Is it simply a question of individual choice?
What would be the consequences of changing the law?
What kind of society would we have if euthanasia were legalised?
It will be argued that to legalise the killing of those who are suffering would be to introduce a whole new, and dangerous, dimension to society. The experience of those countries that have already legalised euthanasia shows that the demand for euthanasia cannot be limited to a carefully defined group.
The following two papers were amongst those presented at this seminar.
John Kleinsman the director of the New Zealand Catholic Bioethics Centre explains the inherent dangers of legalising euthanasia.
Fr John Adams shares about the spiritual dimension of Euthanasia
The forum was sponsored by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace of the Diocese of Christchurch, with assistance and hosting from Our Lady of Perpetual Help and St Matthew’s Justice and Peace Group.