Presbyterian Church in Ireland: ‘Assisted suicide is not a sign of a caring society’

The Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) has warned that mounting pressure to introduce assisted suicide in the Republic is not “the hallmark of a mature, caring and compassionate society”.

Following an Oireachtas committee’s recommendation to allow terminally ill adults to receive help to kill themselves, the denomination’s Convener of the Council for Public Affairs, Revd Daniel Kane, said society should be prioritising palliative care services instead.

If the Government adopts the Joint Committee on Assisted Dying’s proposals, Irish citizens who are suffering ‘intolerably’ from a terminal condition and are deemed to have less than six months to live would be allowed to receive help to be killed. For neurodegenerative conditions, the life expectancy requirement would be extended to twelve months.


Revd Kane stated: “Changing the law to permit assisted suicide and euthanasia raises the most fundamental of questions about the value that we place as a society on human life.

“For people of faith, and indeed people of no faith, human life, its preservation, its dignity, and its protection, are moral and precious values, which society casts off at its peril.”

He added: “The current direction of travel, that will impact on some of the most vulnerable people in our society is not, in any way, the hallmark of a mature, caring and compassionate society.”


In December, ministers from the Church of Ireland, the Methodist Church in Ireland and the PCI warned the Committee that weakening end-of-life protections would undermine society’s commitment to saving life.

Before the Committee published its Final Report, the church leaders urged parliamentarians to strengthen end-of-life care and mental health services to ensure all people are cherished and supported through even the most severe health issues.

Revd Dr Rory Corbett of the Church of Ireland said: “As John Wyatt, the ethicist, has put it, however compassionate our motives may be, when we assist in the killing of another human being we damage our own humanity. We must continue to build on that cohesive and compassionate society.”

“I ask each member the following: if you were to put this into law, would each of you be prepared to carry out the procedure that at the moment you propose to ask doctors to carry out?”

Also see:


Oireachtas committee ignores ‘overwhelming’ evidence by backing assisted suicide

Scots medics oppose McArthur’s death bill

Bake Off’s Prue fears she is helping to unleash assisted suicide ‘nightmare’

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