Assisted Dying

Bishop of Plymouth raises serious concerns about Assisted Dying Bill ahead of debate

14/07/2014 5:33 pm

The Rt Rev Mark O'Toole, Bishop of Plymouth, has written to the Catholics of his diocese to raise his serious concerns over the Assisted Dying Bill due to be debated in the House of Lords on Friday, 18 July.

In a pastoral letter issued last weekend, Bishop O'Toole warned that the Bill raises "serious questions" about what sort of society we want to be:

"Our faith teaches us that all human life is sacred. Respecting life means that every person must be valued for as long as they live.  Whilst we believe every person should be given appropriate treatment in their suffering we do not always use extraordinary means to extend life at all costs.

"At the same time it is not acceptable to deliberately put an end to the lives of the disabled, of the sick or of dying people. The Catechism of the Church reminds us of this when it says, 'It is God who remains the sovereign master of life. We are the stewards, not owners of the life God has entrusted to us. It is not ours to dispose of.'

"The new bill marks a very serious moment for our country. It raises serious questions about what sort of society we want to be.  Especially of concern is whether we will continue to promote a proper care of the dying, and of those who are vulnerable through disability or age."

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You can read the full text of Bishop Mark O'Toole's pastoral letter by using the link in the top right-hand corner of this article.

Related

Visit our full section on the Assisted Dying Bill 2014-15 - resources available.

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Bishop O'Toole: Assisted Dying

bp-plymouth-letter-assisted-dying.pdf 1,002.80 kB

Pastoral Letter from Bishop Mark O'Toole of Plymouth to the Catholics of his diocese on the Assisted Dying Bill. Issued on 12/13 July 2014.