Desmond Tutu believes everyone should have the right choose the time of their death if they are terminally ill.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has revealed his desire to choose the time of his death. On his 85th birthday, the Archbishop expressed his wish for an “assisted death” and has urged lawmakers to make it possible for terminally ill patients and people in great physical pain who have no hope for a cure to be allowed to choose to die on their own terms.

These words come from a letter the emeritus archbishop of Cape Town wrote in 2014. Himself a victim of prostate cancer, Tutu has been hospitalized multiple times due to contracting infections. He revealed with his life drawing closer to its end he knows now more than ever the importance of having the right to choose to pass away in a “dignified” manner.

Tutu was against suicide for a very long time. However, two years ago, he publicly announced that he had changed his mind over this issue. His words now echo two years later.

Tutu feels as Christian compassion means to love everybody equally and to help and assist people in pain, it should also extend to allowing people to choose their deaths when things become too unbearable for them. He believes it is cruel to stop people who wish for death when they know there is no cure and force them to “endure terrible pain and suffering.” He said, “With my life closer to its end than its beginning, I wish to help give people dignity in dying.”

Tutu also urged religious leaders to reconsider the traditional stance against this issue. His words come in stark contrast to the Anglican church's views on this matter. As an Anglican archbishop, himself, he has often created controversies by his open-minded attitudes to issues the Anglican Church has otherwise opposed. For example, he is openly in favor of same-sex marriages, and in-fact, himself blessed the marriage of his lesbian daughter with her female partner. He is also known for his pro-choice views.

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