#1116 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 23 August 2015
Professor Peter Singer and Sydney Catholic Archbishop Anthony Fisher debated whether voluntary euthanasia should be legalised recently at Sydney’s Town Hall.
Professor Singer said euthanasia should be permissible for competent adults who request it and who have a grievous and irremediable medical condition that causes enduring suffering. He argued that prohibiting euthanasia violates personal autonomy – the freedom to choose death when life becomes unbearable.
Archbishop Fisher said legalising euthanasia would be a revolution in medical practice, and would undermine the “save-heal-care” ethic, and place a terrible burden on health professionals.
Euthanasia would create “two classes of citizens: those whose lives are inviolable, and those whose lives can be taken.”
Archbishop Fisher said, “We all want to relieve suffering; we all want to respect autonomy. Surely we can find respectful, life-affirming ways of doing that that don’t involve killing each other and, in the process, putting the most vulnerable in our community at risk.”
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.