Gavin Francis, writing in this week's London Review of Books (subscribers only link):

In New Problems in Medical Ethics (1956), Peter Flood, a Benedictine, stated that Christians in pain should accept suffering ‘as permitted by God for our betterment’. Pain was a ‘privilege, in union with the redemptive sufferings of Christ’. It was essential that a physician tell people they might be close to death, even if they weren’t sure, so that the patient’s opportunity for repentance wasn’t squandered and their admission to heaven put at risk. Pain relief might be administered in small doses, except to those such as lapsed Catholics—the fear being that even small doses might prevent them from returning to the religion of their baptism. In the same volume Eugene Tesson, a Jesuit, sanctioned physicians to administer pain relief only to the dying who had ‘made an act of submission to the Divine’ and those ‘in danger of falling into despair and blaspheming the goodness of God’.

These are the sort of religious, moralistic nutters who, in 2014, think assisted dying is against God's will.

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.


  1. Words almost fail me.
    This is right up there with the Southern Baptist church that wouldn't bury a man because he was gay, and the Turkish politician who said women shouldn't smile in public.

  2. Mind you, it would save a lot of money for the NHS if Christians were refused medication for pain. Will you be sending this on to Jeremy Hunt?

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