Bishops express opposition to assisted suicide and euthanasia

Bishops express opposition to assisted suicide and euthanasia

The Irish bishops have issued a letter stating their opposition to legislation resulting in the introduction of assisted suicide or euthanasia.

In a pastoral letter, the Bishops’ Conference said that such a move would see the State contribute to “undermining the confidence” of people who are terminally ill, who want to be cared for and want to live life as fully as possible until death naturally comes.

In March, an Oireachtas Committee which examined the introduction of assisted dying in Ireland recommended, in a final report, that both assisted dying and euthanasia be introduced here. The Bishops have rejected the committee’s final report.

The bishops expressed “little confidence” that the proposed restrictions would offer any real protection.

“Taking into account what has happened in many other jurisdictions, and indeed, what is already happening in Ireland with regard to the law on abortion, we believe that it would be only a matter of time before proposals would be on the table again to extend the availability of assisted suicide to those in our society who are most vulnerable, including people with intellectual disabilities,” they said.

Explaining the position of the bishops, Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran, was interviewed on Monday’s Claire Byrne show and lamented the modern approach to those who are dying, saying: “I think that if the best we can do for people who are dying is help put an end to their own lives, I think we’ve lost our way as a society”.