The Church of England has remained firmly opposed to Lord Joffe's bill after a 293 to 1 vote at General Synod in July 2005. The three Bishops who spoke in the Lords' debate (London, Oxford and St Albans), along with former Archbishops of Canterbury and York (Carey and Habgood) were defiant in their rejection of any law change in the face of opposition voices.
The Archbishop of Canterbury addressed euthanasia in a lecture to mark the Centenary of Friends of the Elderly, Church House, Westminster on 6 September 2005:
I have to say too in this context that the current drift towards a more accepting attitude to assisted suicide and euthanasia in some quarters gives me a great deal of concern. What begins as a compassionate desire to enable those who long for death because of protracted pain, distress or humiliation to have their wish can, with the best will in the world, help to foster an attitude that assumes resources spent on the elderly are a luxury. Investment in palliative medicine, ensuring that access to the best palliative care is universally available, continuing research not only into the causes but into the behavioural varieties of dementia and so on - how secure would these be as priorities if there were any more general acceptance of the principle that it was legitimate to initiate a process designed to end someone's life?
The full speech is at www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/sermons_speeches/2005/050906.htm.
Comments made by Rowan Williams opposing euthanasia recently - www.ekklesia.co.uk/content/news_syndication/article_05096old.shtml.
The joint statement by Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops in September last year is at www.cofe.anglican.org/info/socialpublic/euthanasia.html.
A very useful well-referenced briefing paper by the Bishop of Southwark Tom Butler is at www.cofe.anglican.org/about/gensynod/agendas/gs1575.rtf.
Another C of E link worth a look is www.cofe.anglican.org/news/news_item.2004-10-19.9713099720.