Assisted suicide disregards human dignity, says theologian

Assisted suicide disregards human dignity, says theologian Professor Eamonn Conway.

Assisted suicide and euthanasia have been described as “an assault on most vulnerable in our society” by leading theologian Prof. Eamonn Conway.

It comes on the heels of People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny’s launch of a Dying with Dignity Bill, which seeks to legalise assisted suicide. The bill is currently before the Dáil, with both the Labour Party and Sinn Féin pledging to support it.

Commenting on the issues of assisted suicide and euthanasia, Fr Conway said: “It’s a tragedy that people would believe that they find themselves in a situation where euthanasia or assisted suicide is their only option…it diminishes the dignity, both of them and of those who assist them.”

He insisted that “the argument will be about human autonomy, but human autonomy is illusional. If the Covid-19 crisis has taught us anything, it’s that we are not autonomous human beings, and we’re fundamentally interdependent”.

Fr Conway revealed that he comes at the issue not only as a theologian, but as a carer for his elderly father.

“At a personal level, having cared for my father in my own home for the last two years, I have learned about the beauty and the dignity of old age and of human life as it becomes fragile. It is a real tragedy when we can’t find within us, as a society, the generosity and the decency to care for our most vulnerable.”