• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

An Analysis of the Moral and Religious Issues Raised by Euthanasia

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

An Analysis of the Moral and Religious Issues Raised by Euthanasia The term Euthanasia comes from two Greek words - eu meaning 'well' and thanatos meaning 'death' and means 'painless, happy death'. Some definitions broaden this to mean the practice of mercifully ending a person's life in order to release the person from an incurable disease, intolerable suffering, or undignified death. Euthanasia has been accepted in some forms by various groups or societies throughout history. In ancient Greece and Rome helping others die or putting them to death was considered permissible in some situations. For example, in the Greek city of Sparta newborns with severe birth defects were put to death. Voluntary euthanasia for the elderly was an approved custom in several ancient societies. However, as Christianity developed and grew powerful in the West, euthanasia became morally and ethically abhorrent and was viewed as a violation of God's gift of life. When medical advances made prolonging the lives of dying or comatose patients possible, the term euthanasia was also applied to a lack of action to prevent death. In other words, euthanasia involves the purposeful termination of life by direct action, such as lethal injection, or by an omission, such as starvation or dehydration. ...read more.

Middle

a person -unless it be for murder or spreading mischief in the land- it would be as if he slew the whole people. And if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people" (Quran 5:32). The Quran also says: "Take not life which Allah made sacred otherwise than in the course of justice" (Quran 6:151 and 17:33). Clearly Muslims do not practice euthanasia because it goes against their moral laws, Jewish ethics value healing and the preservation of life as important goods and as activities mandated by God. The Talmud makes it clear that he who shoots a man as he falls off a cliff to certain death is guilty of murder, even though he shortened his victims life by just a few seconds. Nothing should be done to shorten a person's life neither should anything be done to prolong agony. Jewish law forbids euthanasia in all forms, and it is considered an act of homicide, but if something will ease someone's last hours even though it accelerate his or her death, that may be acceptable. The life of a person is not "his" - rather, it belongs to the One Who granted that life. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is also the political question that there are people in our society who agree with euthanasia. Should those with strong religious beliefs try to legally prevent others from living according to their consciences or should they allow others their freedom of conscience and acknowledge the 'right of the individual'? In recent years modern medical advances have brought about a blurring of the previously black and white arguments and have produced a new grey area where the additional ethical questions of 'the quality of life rather than the 'value of life' seem to take precedent. Medical progress may help to relieve suffering but it also raises moral issues for those with strong religious beliefs and ethical problems for those in the medical profession - those who, at the start of their careers, took the Hippocratic oath to "do everything possible to preserve and restore life and not to take it". As scientific knowledge becomes more and more advanced, euthanasia continues to cause many religious arguments, but it is discussed more openly between religious and non-religious groups. Modern scientific methods challenge the views of many religious people. In today's society human beings seem to have greater power over life and death than ever before, and the question remains, 'is it right' for humans to make such decisions? ?? ?? ?? ?? 1. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Euthanasia section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Euthanasia essays

  1. My hypothesis: Euthanasia should be legalized in the UK.I am going to answer a ...

    She suggested that there are very strong links between a vet putting an animal down and Euthanasia. She said: "My cat Willow had cancer in her leg and found it unbearable to walk. She had already had an operation on her foot to correct it and it seemed to work

  2. What is meant by euthanasia?

    Secondly, most hospices only concentrate on dealing with cancer patients or in a few cases, AIDS patients, therefore people fear that other terminally ill patients may not receive effective palliative care. Let's consider the situation where a person is in a coma, PVS, and they are on a life support machine?

  1. “An acceptance of the practice ofvoluntary euthanasia is incompatible with Christian belief in the ...

    all the values to see if they are ordinary or extraordinary means? And also if the act is intrinsically good in itself, or do the consequences of the act make it right or wrong. The Sanctity of Life argument (1)

  2. Analyse and explain the way in which a religious or moral issue has been ...

    doing there job buy informing the public about the facts of the mothers story. The doctors and hospital were very against the mothers wishes to prolong her sons life and thought it was cruel, they obviously thought that her son didn't have much of a life left to live.

  1. Is Euthanasia morally acceptable?

    atheists, only one Buddhist and one Muslim, because there are not many people of other religions in this area but hopefully that is where the secondary research will help. Is the Euthanasia decision influenced by religious beliefs? S ource C shows that different religions have different views regarding euthanasia this is backed up by data retrieved from the Questionnaire.

  2. Ethical Questions

    a lot of people wavering they path towards enlightenment and better reincarnation. Kant: Kant believes in concept of moral law and duty meaning that he would think that under no circumstances ever could abortion be right and I think this event would not even strengthen that view but have no effect at all.

  1. What are the religious and ethical considerations to the issue of euthanasia?

    Life has special dignity and worth. Human life is a "trust" and not a personal "possession" over which we have full control. No one can claim total mastery over one's own life or another's life. Every innocent human being is absolutely equal to all others. This equality is the basis of all authentic social relationships and

  2. 'Acceptance of the practice of voluntary Euthanasia is incompatible with the Christian belief in ...

    Meanwhile others argue that since medical science can prolong life almost indefinitely, what must now be protected is the persons right to die. They state that to subject a patient to an unnaturally, slow and often painful deterioration of health is not just uncivilized and lacking in compassion towards the patient and their family, but an 'infringement of individual liberty'.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work