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Abortion and Euthanasia

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Abortion and Euthanasia Nicola Donnelly 12D Mrs Treanor Abortion and Euthanasia The term 'human life is sacred' means that since every person is made in the image of God, life itself is a gift from God - it is holy and sacred. It is because man is made in God's image that men, women and children are set apart from the rest of creation, and life is given a unique value and sanctity. Human life is precious and should not be destroyed and God has a plan for every single one of us. All Christians and even most non-Christians hold this view on life. There are many occasions that suggest to us that human life is something precious and valuable which should be celebrated. For example, at the celebration of the birth of a new baby, the determination we have to preserve life through medication and operations and the sadness and despair we feel when someone we love dies, no matter what their age. Down through the centuries and in the Bible from the Old Testament through to the New Testament the sanctity of human life is underlined. The responsibilities that Christians have to defend life are also emphasised. In the Bible, it says that it is wrong to murder. This is one of the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, Jesus did not talk specifically about abortion, but we can, however, look at his actions and draw some conclusions about abortion. He cared for people who were unwanted (such as lepers) or who were sick and had little hope of recovering (such as the woman with the haemorrhage). He also cared a lot for children, such as Jarius' daughter. Jesus set an excellent example for how Christians should behave - we should care for each other, rather than destroy each other. Because traditional Christian teaching places the highest value on human life, it naturally condemns abortion. ...read more.

Middle

Several times in the Bible, it is implied that God values human life greatly. For example, we are told in Genesis that God created us in His own image, in Luke's Gospel that God has even counted the hairs on our head, and in 1 Corinthians that our bodies are the temple of God. Another argument that Catholics use against abortion is that God is presented in the Bible as being concerned about the weak and defenceless. This concern is shown in many miracles that Jesus performed - he healed those with physical or mental weakness. Those who advocate abortion stress the rights of everyone concerned except the foetus. Even the law appears not to regard the foetus as having any right to life before its twenty-fourth week of existence. A foetus has a heartbeat, brain waves and a nervous system, yet the law allows it to be torn apart. Whichever method of abortion is used, Christians argue that agonising pain is experienced by the embryo. Abortion eliminates the care that should be shown to the weak and defenceless. There are, of course, other reasons against abortion, such as the physical damage done to about ten per cent of women undergoing abortion and the later feelings of guilt experienced by many women. For the Catholic, however, the authority of the Church and the principal of Christian love are paramount. Can removing an individual's chance of life ever be an act of love? Another issue that attacks the sacredness of human life and is a controversial issue among Christians is euthanasia. This is also called mercy killing because it brings about a gentle and easy death especially in cases of incurable and painful disease. Voluntary euthanasia is when it is carried out at the request of the person killed. In Britain, the Bill proposing voluntary euthanasia has been defeated in the House of Commons whenever it has been discussed in 1935, 1950 and 1969. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is no commandment greater than these.' " Mark 12:31 They believe carrying out euthanasia can be seen as loving your neighbour because the patients' lives are being ended through compassion. Jesus was also a very compassionate human being who cared a lot for others. There are also some Christians and Atheists who believe life does not even come from God. They see the scientific theories put forward as more logical - the theory of Evolution for example. Some also believe that abortion is acceptable in cases of rape or incest, when it would be too emotionally painful for the mother to continue with the pregnancy and give birth to the child. I believe that it is God who is responsible for the creation of all life and therefore, only He has the authority to end life. In today's society, abortion is being increasingly seen as an easy solution to an irresponsible decision. If people think they are mature enough to act in such a way, they must also be ready to deal with the consequences of their actions. In cases of rape or incest where the woman has conceived a child, it may be better to carry on with the pregnancy so some good could come of a terrible situation, rather than destroying another life unnecessarily. Bringing up a child may actually help the woman who was attacked to cope - she may feel she has something worthwhile to live for now and she may recover from her emotional trauma a lot quicker. I disagree with doctors and scientists 'playing' God and deciding to create life in an unnatural and morally wrong way. I also do not support euthanasia becoming legal in this country - God has a plan for each of us and for many of us, this will include suffering. By following Jesus' example and accepting the suffering we must endure, we will receive many rewards if we have faith in God and if we remember that he always loves us and sees each of us as a special and sacred individual. ...read more.

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