Desmond Tutu is one of the most famous religious figures in the world. People mention his name in the same breathe as the Pope or Dalai Lama. Well he has just made a statement in support of assisted suicide (euthanasia) which basically turns on its head most people’s presumption that religious people can’t support helping people die. Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for working against Apartheid in South Africa and supported Nelson Mandela . He is hugely respected.
In a video he says: “As a Christian, I believe in the sanctity of life … and that death is a part of life. I hope that when the time comes, I am treated with compassion and allowed to pass on to the next phase of life’s journey in the manner of my choice.”
You can learn more about euthanasia on the BBC Ethics pages which breaks down what different religions teach; read the BBC Religious Studies Bitesize pages, or watch the CBS hour long debate about assisted suicide.