Euthanasia: The Patient and the right of ‘Advance Directives’

“Dr Megan Best suggests that while Christians believe that we are not free to take the life of another person, this does not mean that we must prolong life at all costs. Nor does it mean that the patient has no rights to cease treatment or give directions about their last days of life…”

– Dr Trevor Cairney at the Centre for Apologetic Scholarship and Education has some very helpful resources from palliative care doctor Megan Best at the Just in CASE blog.

Dr Megan Best’s Synod speech on the Euthanasia motion

In the ongoing debate on Euthanasia, Dr Megan Best’s speech at Sydney Synod last month is well worth reading and circulating.

“I speak as a palliative care doctor. Palliative care is specialty care for terminally ill patients.

Our state and federal parliaments have been asked to consider changing the law to allow euthanasia. We are told that 85% of Australians support such a change. I believe that what this shows us may not be so much how many people support euthanasia, so much as the fact that many people don’t actually know what it is.

Having discussed euthanasia on talkback radio many times over the years, I have come to realise that misconceptions are rife amongst the general public. Confusion abounds regarding what the legalisation of euthanasia means. But first we need to know what euthanasia is not…”

Read Dr Best’s full speech here (PDF file).

The text of the motion to which she was speaking can be seen on pages 1 and 2 of the Business paper for October 19 2010 (PDF).

Euthanasia question needs wider discussion

“Australians are overwhelmingly in favour of euthanasia. Who can resist the will of the people? So goes the pro-death argument for this sweeping social change. A much quoted 2009 survey, commissioned by the pro-euthanasia group Dying with Dignity, reports 85 per cent support for the practice. As is always the case, support is more muted among the over-65s: the prospect of death, it turns out, does concentrate the mind…”

Andrew Cameron writes this opinion-piece in today’s Sydney Morning Herald.

Anglicans oppose euthanasia move

“Labor and the Greens have shown a lack of integrity by moving on voluntary euthanasia straight after the election rather than before it, Melbourne Anglican Bishop Philip Huggins said yesterday.

Bishop Huggins has asked the national parliament of the Australian Anglican Church, now meeting in Melbourne, to affirm the sanctity of life as God’s gift. … ‘This was not a matter of pre-election debate. Would people have voted the same way if they knew a Labor government with the Greens would, as a near-first action, promote a conscience vote on euthanasia?’…”

Report from The Age.

Bishop John Harrower on euthanasia

Bishop John HarrowerIs Euthanasia A Morally Acceptable Way To Ease Suffering Of The Elderly?

You probably expect an Anglican bishop to oppose a euthanasia ‘reform’. I do, but maybe not for the expected reasons.

First, some theology: life is a gift from God, a sacred trust, not to be taken by human hand. Read more

Legalising assisted dying would be a failure of collective human memory and imagination

“Dying and death is not a new phenomenon: we have always become ill, suffered, were going to die and someone else could have killed us.

So why now, at the beginning of the 21st century, after prohibiting euthanasia for thousands of years and when we can do so much more to relieve suffering than in the past, do we suddenly think that legalising it is a good idea? I propose a major cause is a catastrophic failure of collective human memory and collective human imagination.

Let‘s look at the approaches taken on each side of the debate. …“

– An important article by Margaret Somerville, Professor of Bioethics in the School of Medicine at the University of Notre Dame Australia, in The Guardian.

Photo courtesy University of Notre Dame Australia. (h/t SydneyAnglicans.)

Assisted suicide opposed

“Anglicans in New South Wales and Victoria have been urged to contact their MPs to oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide legislation.

The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Australia, which met in Queensland, passed a motion opposing the legalisation of ‘assisted dying’. …”

– Report from


Dr Megan Best’s Synod speech on the Euthanasia motion – from Sydney Synod 2010.

Albert Mohler’s The Briefing, 08 September 2017, from 9’40”.

Dying with dignity

Recently, the South Australian Parliament debated and rejected the Death with Dignity Bill, which proposed to legalise euthanasia. It was the 15th time a euthanasia bill had been rejected by the house.

The bill’s proposer predicts that this is not the end of the debate, referring to the overwhelming public support for “the right to choose and have a dignified death”. With Andrew Denton regularly advertising his desire for legal euthanasia with evangelistic fervour, I agree that we have not seen the end of the debate. But I still hope for a more honest one. …”

– This is an important article by Dr. Megan Best, bioethicist and palliative care doctor who works for HammondCare. She serves on the Social Issues Committee of the Diocese of Sydney.


(Dr. Best is also the author of Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, from Matthia Media.)

Archbishop Davies rallies Anglicans as Synod begins

Archbishop Glenn Davies“The Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, has delivered a rallying address on Christian mission, persecution and perseverance at the start of the church’s 2015 Synod…”

– from Russell Powell at

Read the full text here (will download a PDF file) – or listen at this link (35MB mp3 audio) or watch the video.

Take the time to watch, hear or read the full address.

The Archbishop’s Presidential Address to the Sydney Synod on October 12th, 2015.

Here’s one extract:

“That two TV stations should recently refuse to air advertisements by Marriage Alliance for promoting what is simply the law of the land is a scandal! It is also symptomatic of the wave of naïve enthusiasm for the novelty of ‘same-sex marriage’ that a significant number of corporations have published their endorsement for this change in our law. How, one might ask, does such a position have anything to do with the core business of these companies—it is inexplicable. Why don’t we hear from these companies about their views on the treatment of asylum seekers on Manus Island or the decline in Australia’s foreign aid budget or other controversial issues such as the slave trade, euthanasia or abortion? Have these companies any idea of how many shareholders, let alone employees, who do not share these publicly endorsed sentiments regarding ‘same-sex marriage’?”

‘Allow me to die!’ — SBS Dateline

Dominic Steele and Lionel WindsorOn 2CH in Sydney last night, Dominic Steele interviewed SBS journalist Brett Mason and Moore College’s Lionel Windsor, about the SBS TV Dateline programme “Allow me to die!”.

The Dateline programme follows two people who have decided to end their lives.


The hardest story I’ve told – Brett Mason, SBS.

Dr Megan Best’s speech on euthanasia at Sydney Synod in 2010.

Give Me Liberty and Give Me Death: Belgium’s Brave New Euthanasia Regime – Public Discourse.

Lord Carey ‘wrong to support State-sanctioned suicide’

Bp George Carey“Apparently the UK is ‘closer than ever’ to introducing legislation which will permit the terminally ill to end their lives at a time and place of their choosing. Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill simply will not die: it is deemed to be the virtuous and noble solution to the problem of unbearable suffering; the only ethical and justly moral response to a heartless society which insists on sustaining lives which simply no longer wish to be lived. We treat dogs better.

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey is amongst the signatories to a letter demanding that the political parties pledge to giving this Bill parliamentary time after the General Election, in order that the issue might be finally resolved. By “resolved”, they mean, of course, that the Bill must be passed, or the issue has not been “resolved” to their liking and will simply need to be revisited until Parliament votes correctly. The only settled conclusion that is acceptable is the one which concludes a settlement in favour of ‘assisted dying’. The argument is teleological; the trajectory is locked…”

– UK Christian blogger ‘Archbishop Cranmer’ weighs in on the hot issue of ‘euthanasia’.


On the elimination of the suffering – Dr Megan Best. (
Euthanasia lives again – Social Issues Executive of the Diocese of Sydney.

From Bishop of Tasmania John Harrower:
Euthanasia resources.
Depression, disability & ‘safe’ euthanasia
A Response to Giddings & McKim’s euthanasia proposal.

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