Irish church unease over euthanasia bill pending in parliament


Irish Anglican and Presbyterian church leaders have voiced concern over a proposed  euthanasia bill before the country’s parliament. 

In a statement released on 8 Oct 2020 the primates of Ireland, the Most Rev. Michael Jackson, Archbishop of Dublin, and the Most Rev. John McDowell, Archbishop of Armagh affirmed the dignity of all human life and urged careful consideration of the Dying with Dignity Bill currently before a Dáil committee.

“We affirm the sacredness of human life, in its totality from beginning to end, as a gift given by God, and that each and every human life is intrinsically valuable in all its phases.  It should also be recognised that very difficult situations and emotions can arise from the management of care towards the end of a life and the discussion of personal circumstances always requires the utmost sensitivity.  Such sensitivity should also be borne in mind in the public debate around these issues,” they wrote in a letter to members of the Church of Ireland.

The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church, Dr. David Bruce, on 8 Oct 2020 said he also was “deeply disappointed and gravely concerned” members of the legislature had allowed the bill to go to the committee stage. 

Dr. Bruce said the bill raised question about the “value of human life” which “we firmly believe to be a gift from God.” However, he welcomed the government’s statement “that there is no human right to access assisted suicide” in Ireland.