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New South Wales rejects euthanasia bill while Vermont authorises physician assisted suicide: The Church of England Newspaper, June 2, 2013 p 6. June 6, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Vermont.
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The New South Wales Parliament has rejected a private members bill calling for the legalization of euthanasia. On 23 May the upper house of Parliament, the Legislative Council, voted 23 to 13 to reject the bill backed by the Green Party.

However in the United States, Vermont became the fourth state to legalize euthanasia after Gov. Peter Shumlin signed into law the “End of Life Choices” Act which permits physicians to administer a fatal overdose to terminally ill patients who wish to commit suicide.

“This bill does not compel anyone to do anything that they don’t choose in sound mind to do. All it does is give those who are facing terminal illness, are facing excruciating pain, a choice in a very carefully regulated way,” the governor said on 20 May 2013 after he signed the bill.

Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston said this was “a tragic moment for Vermont. It is also a sign of an alarming trend nationwide. In the three states where physician-assisted suicide is now legal, doctors are called upon to destroy life, rather than to save life and provide much-needed comfort in times of pain and distress.”

The Episcopal Church as part of the Vermont Ecumenical Council and Bible Society had opposed the bill the Rt. Rev, Thomas Ely, Bishop of Vermont told The Church of England Newspaper.

In a statement released in December 2011 as the bill was being debated by the legislature, the Council stated their members “seriously doubt, and some reject categorically, that assisted death, whether in suicide, in euthanasia or in capital punishment is an ethically responsible action.”

A 2000 white paper prepared for the Episcopal Church’s 73rd General Convention stated: “The Episcopal Church should continue to oppose physician-assisted suicide near the end-of-life because suicide is never just a private, self-regarding act.”

“It is an act that affects those with whom we are in relation within the community, denying them the sense of meaning and purpose to be derived from caring for us as we die. Moreover, it threatens to erode our trust in physicians, who are pledged to an ethic of healing. Finally, it denies our relationship of love and trust in God and sets us up as gods in the place of God.”

Just say “no” to euthanasia: Anglican Ink, May 22, 2013 May 22, 2013

Posted by geoconger in 73rd General Convention, Anglican Ink, The Episcopal Church, Vermont.
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Vermont has become the fourth American state to legalize euthanasia after Gov. Peter Shumlin signed into law the “End of Life Choices” Act which permits physicians to administer a fatal overdose to terminally ill patients who wish to commit suicide.

On 20 May 2013 Gov. Peter Shumlin signed the bill into law after it was approved by the state legislature: 75 to 65 in the House and 17 to 13 in the Senate.

“This bill does not compel anyone to do anything that they don’t choose in sound mind to do. All it does is give those who are facing terminal illness, are facing excruciating pain, a choice in a very carefully regulated way,” the governor said after he signed the bill.

Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said this was “a tragic moment for Vermont. It is also a sign of an alarming trend nationwide. In the three states where physician-assisted suicide is now legal, doctors are called upon to destroy life, rather than to save life and provide much-needed comfort in times of pain and distress.”

He urged “all people of good will to fight the future passage of such laws.”

The Episcopal Bishop of Vermont the Rt. Rev. Thomas Ely told Anglican Ink the Vermont Ecumenical Council and Bible Society hosted a series of forums on physician-assisted suicide. It issued a statement in 2003 when the issue was first brought to the legislature and again in 2011, giving a “clean statement of our position.”

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

Boost for gay marriage campaigners: CEN 4.17.09 p 6. April 19, 2009

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Human Sexuality --- The gay issue, Iowa, Vermont.
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Supporters of gay marriage won two victories last week in the United States after the Vermont legislature turned back a veto by the state’s Republican governor of a Democrat-sponsored bill making marriage “gender neutral”, and the Iowa state supreme court overturned a state law banning gay marriage.

The Episcopal Bishop of Vermont, the Rt Rev Thomas Ely — who had lobbied the state legislature in support of gay marriage — on April 7 applauded the vote saying he hoped it would “inspire other states to enact comparable legislation and that ultimately the legal provisions of full marriage equality will be provided to all citizens of the United States.”

The Bishop of Iowa, the Rt Rev Alan Scarfe, also endorsed his state’s move in support of gay marriage. In a Good Friday pastoral letter to the diocese, he said the ruling “clarifies for me what the issue is that is facing the Church. Like so many who support the rights of gay and lesbian people, I thought civil unions would provide adequate protection for their relationships. I began to see things differently as I heard the arguments presented in court several months ago.”

Read it all in The Church of England Newspaper.

Boost for gay marriage campaigners