‘Life is a gift’: Mandurah pastor weighs in on death debate

Emotive debate: Faith City pastor Mark Sena and wife Priya. Photo: Supplied.

Emotive debate: Faith City pastor Mark Sena and wife Priya. Photo: Supplied.

A Mandurah church pastor has weighed-in on the contentious debate of assisted dying, saying it is no different from the death penalty. 

Mandurah Mail shared Nigel Haines’ story last week and his reason for supporting assisted dying legislation in WA.

After a 12-month consultation process, a parliamentary committee last week recommended the drawing-up of assisted dying legislation.

This will most likely lead to a Government Bill being formed, which will subsequently be debated in State Parliament and voted on by MPs. 

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Faith City Church pastor Mark Sena said the “dicey issue” was such a big debate because of the many sides to consider, including religious, ethical and practical arguments. 

“Life is a gift and I believe we should always choose life, and do everything to enable the life to be lived,” he said. 

“When I see this debate, I personally don’t see the difference between capital punishment – it’s a similar procedure.

“Someone who is dying, there is natural death and you don’t have to force it on them.”

...The choices I make are going to affect everyone around me.

Mark Sena

Mr Sena believes the legislation, if passed, could have a “flow-on” effect whereby sick family members could feel pressure to end their lives. 

“How many people down the track will get sick and feel ‘I am a burden now to my friends and family and society...I feel cornered – it’s best I do this for them, but I don’t really want to’,” he said.  

“It could create that kind of expectation.”

Mr Sena said Western culture had a strong focus on individualism and could learn from the Eastern mentality. 

“We are a very individualistic society here, but the issue with that is the choices I make are going to affect everyone around me,” he said. 

“In a more embedded society, the decisions I make, I do in relation to the family.

“That unit of family is there to support in sickness and in health, and emotionally.”

From a practical side, Mr Sena said palliative care was improving and people could be living much longer and in less pain.

“With the medical advancements happening, there will be better healthcare for people,” he said. 

“It has come to a point where they can almost eliminate pain.

“Imagine the advancements in 10 to 20 years.”