Euthanasia debate tonight in Belfast…

Will Crawley is chairing an open debate on euthanasia at 7.00 pm at All Souls Church, Elmwood Avenue. He’s already kick started a decent debate over at his Will and Testament blog


  • Legalizing assisted suicide could lead to socially pressurized deaths.

  • Rory Carr

    Some of the arguments being advanced in favour of euthanasia on the NHS (state facilitated easing-of-the-passage)are strangely compelling encompassing as they do why it might be better for a human life to be ended:

    Inability to control one’s bodily waste functions.

    Inability to come to a decision as to one’s own care, treatment or disposal.

    The burden and distress caused by such inability on the carers.

    Cost of care to the rest of society.

    The total lack of value that such individuals are able to contribute to society.

    And, of course, though not yet mentioned or “not yet politically ripe for debate” (as Bernard Levin wrote on the question of withdrawal from Northern Ireland in a compassionate article in The Times at the time of the Price Sisters hunger strike) the beneficial effects such a policy would have on tax reduction.

    If I were to be swayed by such arguments I should be obliged to make my way to the nearest maternity unit grimly grasping my meat tenderiser with a view to dispatching the little troublesome blighters.

    Ah! but stay and

    Consider the lilies of the field, they spin not neither do they toil…

  • eranu

    as the debate is in a church i’ll mention an excellent bible study dvd i saw on suicide. these things cant be summed up in a few lines of text, but essentially it covered how Satan after sucessfully turning alot of the western world away from Christ is now convincing people that choosing death is a better option than choosing life. life being what is offered by Christ.
    lots of dark stuff around this topic.
    check out
    The Four Pillars:
    suicide · abortion
    cannibalism · sodomy

    seriously evil stuff which even the most secular of folk must find worrying?

  • Exit

    I heard that this debate was being held in a church because Queens University refused to allow the organisers to hold it on their premises! If that’s true, it says a lot about the state of intellectual freedom in Northern Ireland today that a church is more open to Mary Warnock than a university.

  • Rory Carr


    If you wish to arm yourself with life affirming stuff in order to combat this latest onslaught of Satan’s wiles then I can only but recommend the writings of that great philosopher for the affirmation of the sacredness of human life and who is the most apposite for our times and is, I believe, the only great spiritual writer worth his salt since Dom Eckhart in the 14th century.

    I refer of course to Karl Marx, but I would also recommend the physician, Sigmund Freud. He too was a most holy writer and to the fore in the quest to drive the dark from the minds of men.

    I must caution you though that I only know of one occasion on which Marx broached the subject of suicide and what he had to say was along the lines of:

    “If a man by the age of (say) forty is not universally loved by virtue of his own loving nature then he may as well go and throw himself in the river.” (By ‘universally’ in this sense, Marx, intended to mean, not the whole universe but rather the man’s immediate universe of family, friends, neighbours etc., his community in other words however large or small that might be. Lovely, isn’t it? Simple and true as the words of the Man of Nazareth.

  • OC

    Will this be about voluntary euthanasia vs involuntary euthanasia, or pre-birth euthanasia vs post-birth euthanasia?

  • Rory Carr

    Since such a large sector of mankind has already in recent years suffered involuntary euthanasia via the kind offices of the RAF and the USAF perhaps we should not concern ourselves unduly with this Soylent Green moral maze, but then all concerns must needs be addressed. No thing is more or less important than the other except as priority of life dictates – check for breathing first etc. It is why we have triage in multiple medical emergency – we must do what we can.

    But so it is with all aspects of life. How would Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream..” speech have been received if he had stood on the podium with his flies undone?

    I say this as a kind of kneejerk distraction because OC just threw the bloody cat among the pigeons in my moral coop at least and I need to withdraw and think about it.

  • Harry Flashman

    “Will this be about voluntary euthanasia vs involuntary euthanasia?”

    On the great social reforms of the late twentieth century the Daily Mail usually held a very simple and consistent line; they were agin them. Let us look for a moment at the record of that esteemed organ.

    First off reforms of the divorce laws; this, it was claimed by the great and the good, would be a way of ending unhappy marriages and allow a few people to restart again in a second marriage. The Daily Mail claimed it would lead to massive disruption to family life in Britain as marriages broke up at a huge rate and marriage and family would be devalued as the cornerstones of society. Hmmm.

    The abolition of the death penalty, the liberal grey beards assured us that murder would still be recognised as the most heinous of crimes and a life sentence would mean a life sentence. The Daily mail warned it would lead to a massive increase in the murder rate and a “life” sentence would very quickly mean nothing remotely akin to life in prison. Hmmm, again.

    Abortion, the pointy heads calmed us by letting us know that abortions would be few and far between and only as a last resort in the case of endangerment to the mother’s health. Once more the Daily Mail chimed in with a siren warning that abortion would become a commonplace and be used for social reasons and as a form of birth control. And once again, Hmmm.

    The legalisation of homosexuality. Our betters assured us that the age limit would be restricted to over twenty one and homosexuality would be a matter of private adult behaviour. The Mail assured us that on the contrary promotion of homosexuality would be open, the schools would be teaching it as an acceptable lifestyle to our children, the age limit would be reduced (they never foresaw the day churches would actually face criminal prosecution for not supporting homosexuality, even the wildest red faced colonel couldn’t have imagined that!). Yet again, Hmmm.

    So how do we stand in the prediction stakes? Well it looks like a four nil drubbing by the boys in Derry Street to the liberal elite. Now you might actually support each and everyone of these outcomes but you have to admit that the Daily Mail got it right each time.

    Euthanasia, where are we with that? Well the high minded assure us that it will only be in extreme cases and only with consent. The Daily Mail says it will lead to inconvenient old people being knocked off by greedy relatives or the state wishing to save money, it points to ongoing developments in Holland.

    Who do you think, on past form will end up being proved right?