In a significant step of moral unity, evangelical church leaders and Muslim academics recently issued a joint statement as to why doctor-assisted suicide should not be legalised in NSW. What follows is a ten-point summary as to why they stand opposed.
- God is our creator, and He determines our time to enter this world and the time for our departure from it.
- Medical science exists to relieve suffering, not to extinguish the sufferer.
- Modern palliative care has done much to relieve suffering.
- Diagnoses may be incorrect.
- The prognosis may be difficult to determine.
- It is common for people to change their minds, even many times, but with doctor-assisted suicide, that option is gone.
- Patients may feel they are a burden, and there may be pressure, spoken or unspoken, for relatives or carers to opt for what seems convenient.
- The doctor-patient relationship will be changed for the worse.
- The bill implies that motives are always good, which is naïve.
- Nowhere in the world have safeguards worked in this kind of legislation. It is always a slippery slope.
In short, for the civil good, as believers in one God who is the creator of all life, Christians and Muslims can rightly join together in urging that society seek, not to solve problems by promoting death, but by promoting care.
Rev. Dr. Peter Barnes
President of Evangelicals for Life