Tags: archbishop | desmond tutu | assisted suicide

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, 85 Today, Backs Assisted Suicide

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, 85 Today, Backs Assisted Suicide

South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in an article on his 85th birthday, has confirmed his support for assisted suicide. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Saturday, 08 October 2016 05:01 PM

Two years ago, Archbishop Desmond Tutu said he supported assisted dying but didn't make any indication about what he would want personally. Now, the Nobel laureate has confirmed he does "not wish to be kept alive at all costs," Tutu wrote for The Washington Post on his 85th birthday Friday.

“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. He was hospitalized last month for infections following surgery.

“Regardless of what you might choose for yourself, why should you deny others the right to make this choice?” he continued. “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 currently no specific bill in South Africa that governs assisted dying. However, in a landmark ruling in April last year, a South African court gave a terminally ill man the right to die, which continued the dialogue regarding laws in cases of assisted death.

Assisted suicide has been a hot topic in the United States since 29-year-old Brittany Maynard, terminally ill with brain cancer, ended her life in November 2014. Her story swept across the country as she advocated for physician-assisted dying while relaying her story about uprooting from California and moving to Oregon, where assisted suicide is legal, so she could end her life on her terms.

"There is not a cell in my body that is suicidal or that wants to die," she told People in an exclusive interview at the time. "I want to live. I wish there was a cure for my disease but there's not."

Besides Oregon, assisted suicide is legal in Washington and Vermont. Less than a year after Maynard's death, California would legalize it, too.

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Two years ago, Archbishop Desmond Tutu said he supported assisted dying but didn't make any indication about what he would want personally. Now, the Nobel laureate has confirmed he does "not wish to be kept alive at all costs," Tutu wrote for The Washington Post on his 85th birthday Friday.
archbishop, desmond tutu, assisted suicide
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2016-01-08
Saturday, 08 October 2016 05:01 PM
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