Tutu ‘wants right to as­sisted death’

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

SOUTH Africa’s Arch­bishop Des­mond Tutu has re­vealed that he wants to have the op­tion of an as­sisted death.

The No­bel Peace Prize lau­re­ate and anti-apartheid cam­paigner said that he did “not wish to be kept alive at all costs”, writ­ing in the Wash­ing­ton Post news­pa­per on his 85th birth­day.

Tutu came out in favour of as­sisted dy­ing in 2014, with­out spec­i­fy­ing if he per­son­ally wanted to have the choice.

He was hos­pi­talised last month for surgery to treat re­cur­ring in­fec­tions. “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,” Tutu wrote.

“Re­gard­less of what you might choose for your­self, why should you deny others the right to make this choice?

“For those suf­fer­ing un­bear­ably and com­ing to the end of their lives, merely know­ing that an as­sisted death is open to them can pro­vide im­mea­sur­able com­fort.”

There is no spe­cific leg­is­la­tion in South Africa gov­ern­ing as­sisted dy­ing.

But in a land­mark rul­ing in April 2015, a South African court granted a ter­mi­nally ill man the right to die, prompt­ing calls for a clar­i­fi­ca­tion of the laws in cases of as­sisted death.

Tutu be­came Cape Town’s first black arch­bishop in 1986. Pic­tured with Dean Michael Weeder dur­ing a mass to mark his 85th birth­day The Angli­can Church — of which Tutu is a mem­ber — is staunchly against as­sisted dy­ing. This is not the first time Tutu has come out against the church, how­ever.

He is an out­spo­ken sup­porter of gay rights, and has openly crit­i­cised con­ser­va­tive Chris­tian at­ti­tudes to ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity. In 2013, he said would “refuse to go to a ho­mo­pho­bic heaven” in favour of “the other place”.

At the time, he added: “I would not wor­ship a God who is ho­mo­pho­bic and that is how deeply I feel about this.”

Ear­lier this year, he blessed his daugh­ter Mpho’s mar­riage with her fe­male part­ner, de­spite South African Angli­can law on mar­riage stat­ing that “holy mat­ri­mony is the life­long and ex­clu­sive union be­tween one man and one woman”.

The then-Arch­bishop of Cape Town con­tro­ver­sially sup­ported an amend­ment to make abor­tion more read­ily avail­able in South Africa in the mid-90s, de­spite some per­sonal reser­va­tions. — AP

Arch­bishop Des­mond Tutu

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.