A time to live and a time to die

“A time to live and a time to die“ is the title of an aid to orientation on medically assisted death and aid to suicide. The study is the fruit of an intensive process of consultation between 105 CPCE churches in 30 countries on the basis of a text by the CPCE special group on ethics. With the document presented in summer 2011 the protestant churches in Europe contribute their position to the discussions about a worthy approach to the end of life.

The 104 page brochure discusses fundamental questions of dying in the social, clinical and juridical context. It asks from theological and ethical perspective: What is human life? Where does our moral responsibility lie? How sensitive are we to the wishes of the patient? Here the aid to orientation takes up such central questions of medical ethics as the termination of life-extending measures, palliative care, assisted dying and suicide assistance.

The study emphasizes the necessity to improve the accompanying social, medical and caring conditions for a worthy life and dying. These include the extension and development of hospices and the advancement of palliative care in theory and practice.

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