Describe The Teachings Of Christianity About The Sanctity Of Life In Relation To Euthanasia

1579 words - 7 pages

Euthanasia comes from the Greek meaning 'easy death'. Formally known as 'mercy killing' it is the act of making or helping someone to die rather than letting him or her die naturally, because if they die naturally they will be in considerable pain or will have an extremely poor quality of life.There are several ways it can be classified:Voluntary Euthanasia meaning the dying patient or their legal representative requests euthanasia.Passive Euthanasia meaning allowing someone to die without doing anything to prevent his or her death.Positive Euthanasia meaning taking deliberate action to cause a death for example withdrawing treatment.Active Euthanasia meaning giving a lethal injection or ...view middle of the document...

' Although some would say that the Amalekite was put to death for destroying 'the Lord's anointed' (II Samuel 1:15) rather than for committing euthanasia.In the second case Abimelach asks his armour bearer to put him to death to save him the shame of being killed by a woman who dropped a millstone on his head (Judges 9:52-55). Abimelach and his followers were seen as reckless and wicked and so consequently euthanasia could be seen as wicked as Abimelach allowed it. But some Christians would say that this couldn't be compared to euthanasia today as Abimelach was killed for the wrong reasons - not because he was suffering but because he was embarrassed. However these events take place in the Old Testament and most Christians today mainly look to the New Testament and Jesus for guidance. In the New Testament the main teaching is Love.Christians of all denominations base their views mainly on this teaching of love. In the bible it says 'Follow the way of love' (I Corinthians 14:1) but different people would interpret this differently. Some might say that to kill someone, whether to relieve suffering or not is murder and in the bible it also says 'Thou shalt not murder' so euthanasia is wrong. Others might say that when someone is really suffering the most loving thing you can do is to kill them.Most Christians will refer to the bible when considering moral dilemmas like euthanasia but they may also refer to other things, like ministers, friends, direct guidance from God or the views in the world at that moment, all of which may alter their views on euthanasia.The Catholic Church is against euthanasia. According to the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council crimes against life 'such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia, or wilful suicide,' should be condemned. The Council further stated that 'Nothing and no one can in any way permit the killing of a human being whether... an old person, or one suffering an incurable disease, or a person who is dying.' Catholics believe this because they follow the principle of Natural Law, that it is God's will that people die naturally and euthanasia goes against this and so it goes against God's will, therefore it is sinning.One of the key issues about Euthanasia is 'is it murder?' The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that '...an act, or an omission which, of itself or by intention, causes the death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder...' and Catholics follow the bible in which it says 'Thou shalt not murder' therefore they would see Euthanasia as wrong.Catholicism also teaches that 'Suffering, especially suffering during the last moments of life, has a special place in God's saving plan; It is in fact a sharing in Christ's passion [sufferings]' So Catholics would believe that euthanasia is wrong as it goes against God's plan.Catholics do not believe in keeping someone dying or ill alive by any means possible for as long as possible but they do not believe in purposefully shortening...

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