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eChristians must never support euthanasia.f Do you agree? Give reasons to support your answer and show that you have thought about different points of view.

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Introduction

Alice Roper c) 'Christians must never support euthanasia.' Do you agree? Give reasons to support your answer and show that you have thought about different points of view. The sanctity of life is a very important concept for Christians. They regard life as a gift from God, and believe that to destroy it contravenes God's will (Exodus 20:13 features the commandment from God 'Thou shalt not kill', which informs this belief). According to the Church of Scotland, 'Christians believe that our human worth does not depend upon... the quality of life but on our status as being made in God's likeness': in other words, life still has value even if the quality of an individual's life is reduced. ...read more.

Middle

The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats teaches Christians that it is important to look after people whatever their needs. Many Christians believe that this includes caring for the disabled: to terminate a life on the grounds of disability is not acceptable in God's eyes. It is not for others to judge the quality of another person's life. However, a number of more liberal Christians feel that in certain circumstances forms of euthanasia, for example passive euthanasia, can be supported. Joseph Fletcher states that 'the claim that we ought always to do everything we can to preserve any patient's life as long as possible is now discredited... this view is held straight across the board of religious traditions'. ...read more.

Conclusion

It regards suffering as 'a factor of possible personal growth', and believes that 'true "compassion" leads to sharing another's pain; it doesn't kill the person whose suffering we cannot bear.' I do not believe that committed Christians are able to support active euthanasia as this concept runs counter to so much of the Church's teaching on the sanctity of human life. In their view, euthanasia is an attempt to 'play God', which is wholly unacceptable according to their beliefs. However, passive euthanasia is, I think, an acceptable practice from the Christian viewpoint (with the exception of committed Roman Catholics), firstly because within Christian teaching the unnatural prolongation of life can be regarded as a form of 'playing God' as much as active euthanasia, and secondly because the Christian principle of agape should be pursued wherever possible. ...read more.

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