Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a Noble Peace Laureate and chair of the Elders, an international group of former political leaders brought together by Nelson Mandela to work for peace, justice, and human rights. In an article he wrote for Britain's The Guardian, the archbishop came out in support of the quality of life versus palliative care.
In the article he relays his personal stance on the sensitive issue raised by Lord Falconer’s bill on assisted dying.
“On Mandela Day on Friday we will be thinking of a great man. On the same day in London, the House of Lords will hold a second hearing on Lord Falconer's bill on assisted dying. Oregon, Washington, Quebec, Holland, Switzerland have already taken this step. South Africa has a hard-won constitution that we are proud of that should provide a basis to guide changes to the legal status of end-of-life wishes to support the dignity of the dying.”
The archbishop provides a compelling case to preserve the dignity of terminally ill patients who indicate that instead of having their lives prolonged by medical machinery and have their quality of life diminished; they should be allowed to die amongst loved ones and in a dignified manner.
“What was done to Madiba (Nelson Mandela) was disgraceful. There was that occasion when Madiba was televised with political leaders, President Jacob Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa. You could see Madiba was not fully there. He did not speak. He was not connecting. My friend was no longer himself. It was an affront to Madiba's dignity.”
The Guardian offered this quote that describes Archbishop Desmond Tutu through the eyes of Madiba, "Sometimes strident, often tender, never afraid and seldom without humor, Desmond Tutu's voice will always be the voice of the voiceless."
For more on the debate on assisted dying and Desmond Tutu’s article please follow these links:
Matthew Klynsmith earned a business administration diploma at CTI in Cape Town, South Africa. He now works at Strategic Options as an associate partner. To read more reports from Matthew Klynsmith, Go Here Now.
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