18 October 2007

Culture Of Death, UCC Edition.

From the First Things blog:

On September 18, United Church of Christ minister Kristi Denham announced that a new organization of clergy called the End of Life Consultation Service (ELCS) had been created that would be devoted to ministering to critically ill medical patients. Rev. Denham explained that this organization would “help terminal patients access hospice, pain treatment, and other excellent end of life care.”

At first glance, the ELCS sounds like a charitable Christian group devoted to helping the sick and suffering, or another new ministry devoted to providing spiritual assurance to the gravely ill. Well, not exactly. What makes this organization different from many others is that the ELCS’s main purpose is to assist medical patients in planning their own deaths. And as might be expected, one of the options for a patient’s death offered by the ELCS includes committing suicide.

The new organization plans to man a 1-800 hotline that would provide potential callers with “volunteers [who would] visit patients and families in the home, and together they [could] identify a path to peaceful dying, well-suited to an individual’s illness and circumstances.” After the consultation, the clients would then be free to “obtain and self-administer the means” of killing themselves.

Here's the whole thing.


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