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"An acceptance of the practice of voluntary euthanasia is incompatible with the Christian belief in the sanctity of life but not with the attitudes of some ethical philosophers or some medical practitioners." Discuss.

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Introduction

AS Religious Studies Coursework Essay. "An acceptance of the practice of voluntary euthanasia is incompatible with the Christian belief in the sanctity of life but not with the attitudes of some ethical philosophers or some medical practitioners." Discuss. Euthanasia is defined as: the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy (Merriam-Webster online dictionary). www.Euthanasia.com describes each of the types of euthanasia in the following terms. Non-voluntary: When the person who is killed made no request and gave no consent. Euthanasia: the intentional killing by act or omission of a dependent human being for his or her alleged benefit. (The key word here is "intentional". If death is not intended, it is not an act of euthanasia) Voluntary euthanasia: When the person who is killed has requested to be killed, this may also come in the form of a living will. This is a will, which, in great detain, outlines possible circumstances and outcomes a patient may wish their doctors or carers abide by. ...read more.

Middle

If she refused, the pain would have been incredible, however her death would come sooner. This would be an acceptable situation to the Roman Catholic Church, however it would mean Diane would have to endure incredible pain, the primary thing that she wanted to avoid. This is an example of passive euthanasia; the patient and doctors would do nothing to allow the patient to die sooner, however this doesn't conform to the view that euthanasia is a good or easy death. "The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government."... Thomas Jefferson; the third President of the USA. This may be a prime reason why euthanasia is illegal all over the world accept in Holland and Belgium. Many governments feel that to legalise euthanasia would begin a slippery slope to legalised killing of societies weakest members. Including the elderly and disabled. The Christian protestant view of euthanasia tends to be slightly more relaxed. A lower percentage of Protestants disagree with euthanasia, because they feel that in some circumstances, to put a person through unnecessary pain and suffering is wrong. ...read more.

Conclusion

If you have not experienced the pain then how can you know? The CMF (Christian medical fellowship) published an article on Physician assisted suicide in 2000. This article goes against Prettys' view. CMF make the point that distress and pain can sometimes cause bad decisions, and a person's true autonomy may be abandoned. However CMF also states that to have personal autonomy is NOT the same s saying that people have the right to do whatever they like. Therefore to ask for PAS would not be right because it impinges on the doctors' autonomy, and that of their families and friends. Legalisation of PAS would give doctors enormous new powers over life and death. This has the real possibility of removing the patient's innate trust in their doctor. This could result in the elderly and other of societies weakest members becoming scared of going to their practitioners for relief of a simple cold. Trust will be lost. Finally, the CMF concludes that 'Rejection of euthanasia as an option for the individual entails a compelling social responsibility to care adequately for those who are elderly, dying or disabled. A good death is not the same as simply having a convenient one.' ...read more.

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