A Midland cleric last night said it is wrong for medics to continually strive to keep people alive, after the Church of England argued sick or severely disabled babies should be left to die.
The Rev Dr James Woodward, who presides over St Mary's Church in Temple Balsall, near Solihull, added that death is often "seen as the worst option" but it should not be feared.
He spoke out after the Bishop of Southwark, Tom Butler – vice-chairman of the Church's Mission and Public Affairs Council – said it would be more compassionate to allow seriously ill babies to die naturally.
Until now the clergy have argued life should be preserved at all costs, but now the financial cost had to be considered.
Dr Woodward, director of the Leveson Centre for the Study of Spirituality, Ageing and Social Policy in Temple Balsall, said: "My reading of the Church's submission is that there does not seem to be any change in policy on treatment at the beginning or end of life.
"Foetuses and newborn babies should only have treatment withheld or withdrawn if treatment is futile.
"Death should not be seen as failure, death happens and we can't hang on to life at all costs because sometimes treatment is futile, so to keep striving to keep people alive, whatever their age, is wrong."