Convertantur peccatores in infernum omnes gentes quae obliviscuntur Deum
Quoniam non in finem oblivio erit pauperis patientia pauperum non peribit in finem
Exsurge Domine non confortetur homo iudicentur gentes in conspectu tuo
Constitue Domine legislatorem super eos sciant gentes quoniam homines sunt [diapsalma]
There is evidence from outside the UK to show that physicians’ religious beliefs influence their decision making at the end of life. This UK study explores the belief system of consultants, nurse key workers & specialist registrars & their attitudes to decisions which commonly must be taken when caring for individuals who are dying. Results showed that consultants’ religion & belief systems differed from those of nurses & the population they served. Consultants & nurses had statistically significant differences in their attitudes to common end of life decisions with consultants more likely to continue hydration & not withdraw treatment. Nurses were more sympathetic to the idea of PAS for unbearable suffering. This study shows the variability in belief system and attitudes to end of life decision making both within and between clinical groups. The personal belief system of consultants was not shown to affect their overall attitudes to withdrawing life-sustaining treatment or PAS.
There is no justification for a claim that Christianity must oppose the assisted death of a person who has made their own decision to die, provided that such a person can convince others that their desire to die is fully considered. I will make this argument given two conditions: first that the person is capable of making an educated decision, and second that their end-of-life experience includes full access to both pastoral and medical care.
Plans to relax the laws on assisted suicide have been thrown into doubt after a group of lawyers questioned the role of Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, Britain’s most senior judge. Lawyers from campaign group the Christian Legal Centre want the advice to be put on hold because of Lord Phillips’ personal sympathy those calling for the rules on assisted suicide to be realxed, which emerged weeks after the judgement was handed down.