The Rev. Duke Tufty, pastor, Unity Temple on the Plaza, Kansas City: I don’t believe the church or its clergy should dictate or even take a position on such a deeply personal matter as assisted suicide. Rabbis, ministers and priests aren’t qualified to determine when one should go on living and when one can be set free. That can be decided only by the person who possesses the life.
Personally, I believe if a person is facing psychological challenges that have left him or her in a deep state of despair and depression but are not life-threatening, assisted suicide should not be an available option. If a person is facing physical challenges that cannot be healed, has less than six months to live, and the illness is going to be a continual source of suffering, there should be a process where the person can meet with a panel of three physicians to decide if assisted suicide is the best option, taking all things into consideration.