Anglican Church Leader Rowan Williams Says Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide Unacceptable

LONDON, January 20, 2005 ( – Following on the heels of Monday’s suggestion by a chief adviser of the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury that “There is a very strong compassionate case for voluntary euthanasia,” Rowan Williams today said that the Anglican church remains opposed to euthanasia. A church spokesman quickly responded to the statements of the Archbishop's advisor, professor Robin Gill, saying that Gill's views were not those of the Anglican church.

Williams’ op-ed, appearing in the UK’s Times Online asked, “Do I have a right to die? Religious believers answer for themselves that they do not. For a believer to say: ‘The time could come when I find myself in a situation that has no meaning, and I reserve the right to end my life in such a situation,’ would be to say that there is some aspect of human life where God cannot break through. It would be to say that when I as an individual can no longer give meaning to my life, it has no value, and human dignity is best served by ending it.”

“That would be in the eyes of most traditional believers, Christian or otherwise, an admission that faith had failed,” Williams explained. “It would imply that life at a certain level of suffering or incapacity could no longer be lived in relation to God.”

The Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy- O’Connor, supported Archbishop Williams’ denunciation of euthanasia. “The Archbishop of Canterbury has made a powerful argument of faith and reason against euthanasia which the Cardinal strongly agrees with,” he said through a spokesman, as reported by the Times Online.

Source:, LONDON, January 20, 2005.

Click here for Archbishop Williams Times Online article.

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