The World Council of Churches recognises that understanding human nature is central to many of the sensitive issues facing churches today. Theological anthropology is explored in the context of societal changes facing humanity, including the question of euthanasia.
In this short reflection, Dr Vicki Lorrimar reflects on Voluntary Assisted Dying in the context of Christian faith. She acknowledges the burden of balancing the desire of the patient with the personal views of the carer. She explores the tensions between compassion versus suffering, individualism with community, and the sanctity of life versus mortality and finitude.
Writing in advance of the passing of Victoria’s legislation, leading author and theological educator, Rev. Assoc. Professor Jason Goroncy explores the Christian view on living and dying. Whilst he affirms the sanctity of life, he explores the notion of life not being its own end, concluding that ultimately the responsibility lies with God.
In Dying without a Script, Goroncy discusses the theological complexities of two key areas around Voluntary Assisted Dying. The first relates to the autonomy and rights of the individual. The second considers the sacredness of God’s gift of life and what it means to be human.
Revd. Dr. Gregory Seach of the Anglican Diocese of Perth explores dying in the context of Christ’s life, death and resurrection. He goes on to consider our insatiable appetite to control our lives – and our death – in the context of the fear of dying.
The Presbyterian Church of Queensland provides a number of resources which explore how Christians think about death, suffering and euthanasia in the light of the Gospel. This paper explores Voluntary Assisted Dying from two perspectives. The first is an understanding of how a ‘good death’ is viewed by western society which is seen as driving the desire for euthanasia. The second provides a vision of a ‘good death’ as shaped by the Gospel of Christ.
This brief article contrasts the terror of suffering and dying with entrusting the dying to God’s loving care in the light of Christ’s own death and resurrection.
Jason Goroncy presents a list of resources including a range of classical theological works such as Karl Rahner’s Theology of Death and Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Ethics. This is followed by an extensive list of pastoral resources about journeying with the dying.