Dignity at the End of Life: What’s Beneath the Assisted Dying Debate?
A Christian view of humanity at the end of life, by Andrew Grey. (2018)
On 15th May 2018, Andrew Grey looked at how the concept of dignity is used in the assisted dying debate.
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In spite of Parliament’s emphatic rejection of a “right to die” bill in 2015, the issue of assisted dying remains a live one, with pressure groups and court cases regularly making the news.
For all that divides the different sides in this debate, they agree on one thing: the need for people to die with dignity. But this provokes a question: how can they both be right? How can opposite positions both favour the same things? What does dignity even mean?
Drawing on his Theos report on the topic, Dignity at the End of Life: What’s Beneath the Assisted Dying Debate?, Andrew Grey looked at how dignity is used and what it means and argues that it is an understanding of dignity as being loved and valued, rather than simply having control, that best serves the dying, those who matter to them, and the society in which they live.
Andrew Grey studied Theology and Christian Ethics at the University of Oxford. He works in the voluntary sector on life–limiting conditions.
Andrew Grey spoke at Theos on 10 May with Theos research director Nick Spencer.
See other recent events and articles
Nick Spencer reviews ‘Pain, Pleasure, and the Greater Good’ by Cathy Gere, a study of utilitarianism in public and medical ethics. 19/02/18In Depth
Elizabeth Oldfield argues that we need a deeper concept of ‘dignity’ than is currently being used in the assisted dying debate. 07/02/2018In Brief
Theos researches and investigates the intersection of religion, politics and society in the contemporary world.