The eight top Anglican bishops of New Zealand have come out against David Seymour’s proposed euthanasia bill but three other bishops have voiced their support.
The two very different submissions on the End of Life Choice Bill are a sign of the differences of opinion within the country’s second largest church and among its 450,000 adherents.
The eight bishops, the church’s top leaders, have told Parliament’s Justice select committee that more money should be put into palliative care and helping families looking after the terminally ill, rather than allowing euthanasia or assisted dying.
The submission – by the bishops of Dunedin, Christchurch, Waiapu, Auckland, Wellington, Nelson, Te Waipounamu and Waikato/Taranaki – is one of 35,000 to the committee and among thousands made public this month.
But three other bishops – two former bishops, John Bluck and David Coles, and Assistant bishop of Auckland, Jim White – have published a contrary opinion saying for some people with a terminal illness, assisted dying “is a good and moral choice”.