Euthanasia Debate With Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP and Prof Peter Singer Exposes Major Rifts in Culture
Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
14 Aug 2015
14 Aug 2015
"The debate was civil and probing and before a large audience, mostly of very thoughtful young people who were engaged with all the issues. It exposed some major rifts in our culture with respect to the vulnerable and those who are suffering, to healthcare and the law, and to the responsibilities of freedom," the Archbishop said following the Thursday evening debate.
The audience of around 1200 saw two well-prepared presenters. Archbishop Fisher is a prominent bioethicist, a leader in moral theology and philosophy and a formal lawyer.
Prof Peter Singer is a moral philosopher at Princeton University specialising in applied ethics and former chair of the philosophy department at Monash University.
Their topic was "Should Voluntary Euthanasia be legalised?"
Archbishop Anthony has argued against euthanasia many times in articles and publications, interviews, addresses, homilies and debates.
The two men put their case and rebuttal and took around forty minutes of questions from the audience, guided by the moderator Scott Stephens, he ABC's online editor of Religion and Ethics. Both had a strong support base in the audience.
Professor Singer wanted to stick strictly to the topic of voluntary euthanasia only for competent adults with a terminal illness - no deviation, no broadening the discussion.
Archbishop Fisher argued the subject could not be kept within such narrow confines and was happy to take questions from a broader scope.
Reflecting on the debate, Archbishop Anthony said;" My big question was: who dies in a euthanasia regime? It is, of course, the frail, elderly, sick, lonely, disabled, babies.
At the conclusion of the debate which was hosted by the Catholic Society of St Peter student association at Sydney University, Archbishop Fisher and Prof Singer exchanged copies of their latest books - although there is little doubt they are very familiar with each other's work. Shared from Archdiocese of Sydney
For full debate, watch the video below: