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Attitudes to Abortion and Euthanasia (Christian)

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Introduction

Attitudes to Abortion and Euthanasia (Christian) Christian Attitudes: Christians have different views about abortion and euthanasia, but they all take the issues very seriously. They are part of the discussion about the Sanctity of Life. Christians believe that all life is sacred and was given by God. It is a gift from God. To have an abortion or to accept euthanasia are very serious decisions and Christians believe that they should not be encouraged for social reasons. E.g. Abortion is not another form of contraception. It should only be considered in the most serious circumstances. Abortion: Abortion can be spontaneous and is then regarded as a miscarriage or it can be an operation, which causes the premature expulsion of the foetus from the womb. An operation to terminate a pregnancy can legally take place in Britain before the foetus is viable; that means capable of living independently of its mother. Legal abortion is usually safe and relatively uncomplicated. Jesus did not teach his followers about abortion. It was not an issue in his day. ...read more.

Middle

Abortion is regarded as infanticide and, therefore, murder. The Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches forbid abortion. The only time when Roman Catholics would accept abortion is if it happens as a side-effect of a necessary operation to save the life of the woman. For example, if a woman has cancer and her uterus has to be removed, she can have the operation even though it will cause the death of the unborn child. This is because the intention of the operation is not to terminate the pregnancy. The abortion is a side effect of a life saving operation to treat cancer. Other Christian Attitudes: Other Churches are not all as strict as the Roman Catholic Church. The Anglican (Church of England) and most Protestant Churches are opposed to abortion in principle: 'We affirm that every human life, created in the divine image, is unique... and that this holds for each of us, born or yet to be born. We therefore believe that abortion is an evil'. (General Synod of the Church of England) ...read more.

Conclusion

Jesus did not teach his followers about euthanasia. It was not an issue in his day. However the Bible says, in the Ten Commandments: 'You shall not murder'. (Exodus 20:13) Some Christians believe that euthanasia is murder because it interferes with the natural end of life. Psalm 139:13 states: 'You created me; you put me together in my mother's womb.' Similarly, Jeremiah1: 5 says: 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.' Those who are against euthanasia say that these passages from the Old Testament show that God knows life from the beginning. Ending life at any stage is murder. As with abortion, those Christians who are willing to accept euthanasia under certain circumstances do so out of compassion. Jesus taught that people should love others as much as they love themselves. This is Christian love (agape) or compassion. Some Christians might argue that in sometimes, the most loving thing to do is to allow a person to die. Christians usually prefer the alternative of the hospice movement. Hospices are residential homes for the terminally ill. Their aim is to allow people to die with dignity and in as little pain as possible. ...read more.

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