Essay on Euthanasia and Christian Beliefs

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Euthanasia

Euthanasia is defined in the Chamber’s English Dictionary as “ the act or practice of putting someone painlessly, or as gently as possible, to death”.

There are various forms of Euthanasia, which I must explain before referring to the teachings of the different Christian denominations. The most common of them is Voluntary Euthanasia, where the patient decides for themselves, that they would prefer to be dead. They might decide at the time, or perhaps they might have written a ‘living will’ instructing doctors to kill them if they are ever in a situation where they will never be conscious again. There is also In-voluntary Euthanasia, were someone else decides against the patient’s wishes that would be better off dead,
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Generally, the view of the Catholic church is that Euthanasia and any other form of killing (i.e. murder, suicide) are all the same, and should all be viewed under the same respects. However, the Anglican Church is a bit more particular in their attitudes towards different forms of Euthanasia, and other forms of killing, whether voluntary, or other.

The first source I shall use to come to my personal decision, is the Bible. The most logical record of God’s view towards Euthanasia, is the list of Ten Commandments. The fifth commandment states, that ‘thou shalt not kill’. It prohibits the taking of an innocent life. However, there are two words for kill in Greek, and when Christ quotes the commandment, he uses the word that is directly translated as ‘murder’. Therefore, there is nothing in the list of God-given commandments that directly discourages Voluntary euthanasia.

However, the Catholic Church would argue that there was no difference between murder and any other forms of killing, even in the case of suicide, as long as the killing is deliberate. Even the co-operation in any act of killing is against the moral law. “Do not slay the innocent and righteous, for I will not acquit the wicked.”

Christians, who oppose Euthanasia (Catholic Church), may do so because they believe that ‘The human person is created to praise, reverence and serve God’ . This is based on the belief that God created humans in an image of himself, to rule the world, and

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