The Church in the Public Square: Living and Dying Well

26.1.2015 | Church in Society, Union Theological College, Church in the Public Square, Public Affairs

The Presbyterian Church in Ireland and Union Theological College held their third joint conference under the theme ‘Church in the Public Square’ on Thursday, 22 January 2015. The aim of the conference was to bring together a number of leading thinkers in the UK  to consider the role that Christians and the Church can play in wider community life. The theme for the event was 'Living and Dying Well', which addressed the ethical, pastoral and legal issues surrounding attempts to legislate in favour of assisted suicide.

Robert Preston, Director of the think-tank, Living and Dying Well, which works to examine the objective evidence surrounding the controversial end-of-life debate and publishes research to help inform Parliament and the public, spoke on 'The Assisted Dying' Debate: An Overview' where he gave an overview of the subject, linking the various strands together to show how they interact with each other.

Baroness Ilora Finlay, chairwoman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Dying Well, a professor of palliative medicine at Cardiff University and the current President of the BMA, spoke on 'End of Life or Ending Life', focusing in some depth on the medical aspects of end of life care; explaining what palliative care is, how it has developed and how it differs from what is called 'palliative care' in other jurisdictions. She also discussed the implications of a change in the law for end of life care.

Professor John Wyatt, Professor of Ethics and Perinatology at University College, London, lectures widely on issues in ethics from a Christian perspective and his most prominent book is Matters of life and death: Today's healthcare dilemmas in the light of Christian Faith. He addressed the pastoral and medical challenges from a Christian perspective.

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