South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu has said he would like the option of ending his life through assisted dying.
Archbishop Tutu first said he was in favour for assisted dying in 2014, though he didn’t say if personally he wanted to have that choice and has now called on politicians, lawmakers and religious leaders to take action on the issue.
The Archbishop turned 85 today and wrote in the Washington Post that he did “not wish to be kept alive at all costs.”
Desmond Tutu fights for assisted death
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate and anti-apartheid campaigner was hospitalized last month and underwent surgery to treat recurring infections.
“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. Regardless of what you might choose for yourself, why should you deny others the right to make this choice? 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.” Archbishop Tutu wrote.
“Dying people should have the right to choose how and when they leave Mother Earth. I believe that, alongside the wonderful palliative care that exists, their choices should include a dignified assisted death.”
He pointed to laws in California and Canada that permit assisted dying for terminally ill people. But “there are still many thousands of dying people across the world who are denied their right to die with dignity”. He said.