Yesterday I attended a debate at the Scottish Parliament about assisted suicide. In response to a highly provocative statement from Margo MacDonald, I made some comments that have caused a small media furore.
Margo stated that “the state gives soldiers medals for killing people”. This is not only an unfortunate metaphor to use in defence of assisted suicide; it is also not true. The State gives medals for bravery and valour in the field of battle. It is true that killing is involved in war situations, but it is not the killing that is being honoured.
The sanctity of life remains, whether in the theatre of war or the hospice. Death through war is tragic and our armed forces should be given every bit of moral support in the fulfilment of their duties. Only this week, I was in discussion with service chaplains about how to improve our delivery of pastoral care for those in the front line as well as for veterans. It is unfortunate that the press has chosen to report this wee spat and not the much more important issues that we had been discussing. Such is life!