Cleric sup­ports as­sisted dy­ing

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - WEEK­END AR­GUS RE­PORTER and WASH­ING­TON POST

ARCH­BISHOP Emer­i­tus Des­mond Tutu, who turned 85 yes­ter­day, has recorded a video say­ing he wants the op­tion of as­sisted dy­ing “when the time comes”.

His mes­sage en­dorses laws world­wide to au­tho­rise an end-of-life op­tion.

“I have pre­pared for my death and have made it clear that I do not wish to be kept alive at all costs. I hope I am treated with com­pas­sion and al­lowed to pass on to the next phase of life’s jour­ney in the man­ner of my choice,” he said in the video, posted yes­ter­day at www. com­pas­sio­n­and­choices.org/ des­mond-tutu/

Two years ago he wrote an ar­ti­cle in The Guardian an­nounc­ing the re­ver­sal of his life­long op­po­si­tion to as­sisted dy­ing as an op­tion for ter­mi­nally ill adults, to pre­vent end-of-life suf­fer­ing.

But he was more am­bigu­ous about whether he per­son­ally wanted the op­tion: “I would say I wouldn’t mind,” he wrote at the time.

But in the video, his stance is clear.

Tutu, who has prostate cancer, said he wished to help give peo­ple dig­nity in dy­ing.

“Why are so many in­stead forced to en­dure ter­ri­ble pain and suf­fer­ing against their wishes? Dy­ing peo­ple should have the right to choose how and when they leave Mother Earth.”

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