‘I cannot imagine the determination and strength it took…’

Area Meetings are considering assisted dying. Win Sutton has family experience

‘Jan was fun-loving, creative, disciplined and intelligent.’ | Photo: Aron Visuals / Unsplash.

The question of assisted dying was first approached by Meeting for Sufferings in 2010, when North Scotland Area Meeting expressed a desire for improved palliative care. This is essential, of course, but it is not an answer to the most extreme forms of physical or mental distress. By 2014 the matter was before Quaker Life Central Committee (QLCC), assisted by Leeds Area Meeting, which was considering a range of end-of-life issues. Leeds took the lead with a book, Assisted Dying: A Quaker exploration, sending a copy to every Local Meeting. To quote QLCC: ‘Considerable discussion and threshing will be required before the Yearly Meeting could adopt this as a concern.’ We are now into that process. We have been asked to take a look at this issue in depth in our Area Meetings, with responses going back to Meeting for Sufferings to provide an overview of Friends’ approach to this dilemma.

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