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Explain the Christian view on euthanasia

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Introduction

Transfer-Encoding: chunked ´╗┐Explain the Christian view on euthanasia (35) Euthanasia can be defined as, ?the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma.? When considering euthanasia we must consider the difference between acts of commission and acts of omission. Acts of omission is when something is deliberately not done, e.g. not giving a blood transfusion and just perhaps leaving the person to die ? this would not be classified as euthanasia. The BMA (British Medical Association) recognises a distinction between withholding treatment that may become burdensome on the patient and deliberately bringing a person?s life to an end. Voluntary euthanasia is an act of commission; a positive, deliberate action e.g. administering tablets deliberately to bring death. There is a different between assisted dying and assisted suicide, although the two are closely linked. Assisted dying only applies to terminally ill, mentally competent adults and requires the dying patient, after meeting strict legal safeguards, to self-administer life-ending medication. ...read more.

Middle

Human life is not our ?property?. We may not just ?dispense? with it. As Job said: ?The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away? (Job 1:21). Our lives are meant for the service of God. It is not for us to ?take? life, even our own. The Bible strongly encourages mankind to care for his fellow man. We are to love our neighbour as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-40). Jesus also taught that a stranger in trouble was our neighbour (Luke 10:25-37). Therefore Christians should seek to help those suffering from terminal illness without resorting to euthanasia. The theologian Matt Slick wrote, ?Essentially, assisted suicide is an attempt to deny God His sovereign right to appoint who dies when. We must be careful not to take into our own hands the right that belongs to God.? Furthermore, many Christians and in particular Roman Catholics support the Natural Law stance. Such supporters claim that euthanasia is wrong because it is the direct taking of an innocent life. ...read more.

Conclusion

We must ask that if the door to killing people in their old age is opened, can it ever be closed again? Suggestions have already been made for delayed euthanasia, using anaesthesia with the guarantee of non-arousal, so that useful experiments could be made on human material. Christians would prefer to support palliative care; this is the name given to the specialism of care for the dying. It is a realistic and life respecting response to the needs of the dying. Palliative care is defined as the active total care of patients and their families when the patient is no longer responsive to curative treatments. Palliative care upholds absolute respect of human life and at the same time recognises human mortality and the limited dominion we have over life. Overall, euthanasia is an extremely sensitive issue and all sides of the argument should treat those involved with the upmost compassion and respect. To quote Pamela Bone, ?I'm not afraid of being dead. I'm just afraid of what you might have to go through to get there.? ...read more.

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