Euthanasia: Pastoral Letter 3 Oct.13

Today I sent the following Pastoral Letter to all Anglican Parishes in Tasmania asking that the letter and attachments be made available to Parishioners [by email circulation and/or copies available at Parish Centres]. The Pastoral Letter (without attachments),

3 October 2013

Pastoral Letter – Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2013

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

You will have learned recently that the Hon. Lara Giddings and the Hon. Nick McKim, Members for Franklin have recently introduced the “Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2013” to the Tasmanian parliament.

This Bill would allow those who meet certain eligibility criteria to be prescribed and receive a lethal injection. This Bill is a direct threat to the lives of Tasmanians, particularly the sick and elderly. This Bill embraces a philosophy of human value defined by convenience and personal capacity. It stands against the responsibility of societies and governments to implement compassionate, timely, and effective care for those who are unwell or disabled in some way.

In particular, at a time when our awareness is being raised on matters of suicide prevention, and the risks of abuse faced by the elderly, it is inappropriate and irresponsible to propose a law that communicates the abhorrent notion that for some “your life is not worth living.”

I am calling upon the Members of the House of Assembly to vote against this bill and its contemptible derogation of human value. In a life-affirming healthy society a government is never allowed to intentionally and deliberately cause the death of one of its citizens. We cross that line at our peril.

I have attached to this correspondence some information about how you can work with your parishes. I have also attached a separate document for each of the electorates. Please download the document relative to your area and contact your local members of parliament as soon as possible.

I am also making resources available on my blog which can be accessed here or through

Yours sincerely in Christ’s Service


John Harrower
Bishop of Tasmania

See also, Tasmanian Synod ‘No’ to Euthanasia  and  Should We Legalize Voluntary Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide? plus  Euthanasia Resources.


Euthanasia: Pastoral Letter 3 Oct.13 — 4 Comments

  1. See also, Should We Legalize Voluntary Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide?
    William L. Saunders, J.D. and Michael A. Fragoso
    The people of the state of Washington recently voted to legalize physician assisted suicide. Was that a good idea? Should other states follow? Should voluntary euthanasia (VE) and/or physician assisted suicide (PAS) be legalized?
    When the arguments are examined, and the experience in the Netherlands and Oregon is considered, the answer is a decisive “no.” –

  2. Pingback: Uncovering the Holes in Tasmania’s Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill, 2013 | Faith like a mushroom

  3. At the Service taken this Morning 13th October. Your Pastoral Letter was read out to the Congregation Present. The list made available was past back to me after the close of the Service…. Conclusion 30 against Nil for this legislation.

    Yours in Christ
    Margaret. R. Lock

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