Tomorrow night I will be taking part in what will be one of the toughest debates I have ever engaged in. I am "in conversation" with Margo MacDonald MSP on assisted suicide, 7.15pm at St Johns Church in Princes Street.
I hold Margo in the highest regard and her private members bill on this subject is brought with the deepest of thought and the most compassionate of motives. But I cannot go to where she is. For every case where the choice of assisted suicide seems understandable, there are other circumstances that would make me fear that a decision was not being taken with a full sense of awareness of what other options there are.
This cannot be a debate about moral judgementalism or condemnation nor can it be reduced to situationalism. It must grapple in some form with deciding which a moral 1st principle to hold as being closer to protecting us from ourselves; the right to choose when to die or the right of a society to say we will act sacrificially to severe every need of a fellow human being and not see it as a burden but as a gift and an opportunity so life may continue.
Yet even as I try to write with clarity I know that this is not about a God of black and white but a divinity of the grey areas. This is really going to stretch my thinking and my feeling and though I know where I want to go I am not sure that it is where I will end up...
I will let you know what happens
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