Committee Tackles Ethical Questions on Eve of New Millennium: High-Priority Items Include Euthanasia, Sexuality and Reproductive Technologies

By Blair, Kathy | Anglican Journal, January 1999 | Go to article overview

Committee Tackles Ethical Questions on Eve of New Millennium: High-Priority Items Include Euthanasia, Sexuality and Reproductive Technologies


Blair, Kathy, Anglican Journal


KATHY BLAIR

STAFF WRITER

Euthanasia, human sexuality, review of the marriage canon, reproductive technologies, evangelism and the use of Scripture: these are a sampling of issues the church's faith, worship and ministry committee will give high priority to over the next three years.

The committee has 52 tasks to be worked on or at least monitored before the next General Synod meeting in 2001, department director Alyson Barnett-Cowan said. It ranked them high, medium or low at its October meeting "in terms of the energy level for the committee to expend in this triennium."

Many tasks under the ethics heading are listed as high priority. The euthanasia statement and report commended to General Synod in May will be distributed for church discussion. The statement - which came out squarely against euthanasia and assisted suicide - may be published on the Internet along with a chat line to solicit responses.

Advanced care directives, which allow people to specify what sort of medical care they wish to have once they are no longer capable of stating their wishes, will be collected and studied in order to guide Anglicans considering their use.

The committee is contemplating taking part in the North American Ecumenical Round Table of Faith and Science.

"The committee sees its task as facilitating conversation throughout the church on this issue," Ms. Barnett-Cowan said.

Human sexuality will also be given a high priority. Dioceses have been asked to set up commissions on human sexuality but only nine had responded by the fall, one of which declined to do so. Dioceses should be given concrete questions to work on, committee members said, and ought to be told the discussion should not be limited to homosexuality.

The task group plans to gather for information purposes from other parts of the Communion, liturgical, theological and pastoral material relating to blessing same-sex unions. …

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