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

Christians and Euthanasia

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Christians and Euthanasia The term euthanasia has been applied to a variety of situations, ranging from the cancer patient who legitimately refuses further therapy, to the gassing of the mentally retarded and the senile in Nazi Germany. In order to clarify what is being discussed, words like voluntary and involuntary, active and passive are added. But many grey areas remain. If, for instance, a doctor decides not to treat pneumonia in a patient already dying of cancer, is he (or she) practising euthanasia? Debate on euthanasia in Australia has focussed on the question of voluntary euthanasia. Should it be legal for one person (such as a doctor) to assist another person to die, at their request? That will also be the focus of this article. What does the bible say? The bible does not discuss euthanasia, or provide any clear examples. King Saul's plea to his armour bearer to kill him rather than letting him die at the hands of the Philistines (1 Samuel 31:4) might be construed as a case. The servant's refusal to carry out his request probably related more to who Saul was than to a well thought-out position on euthanasia. Our attitude to euthanasia, then, must be drawn from the teaching of the bible as a whole. ...read more.

Middle

No law can protect people from subtle pressures. The dying often place a heavy burden on their family, physically, emotionally and financially. Medical and nursing staff can find dealing with the dying frustrating and harrowing, especially if they lack training in palliative care. A hint that euthanasia would provide an acceptable end to everyone's suffering need not be voiced to be understood. The difference in cost between providing palliative care services (good or bad) and euthanasia must make euthanasia seem an enticing option to governments concerned about health expenditure and committed to economic rationalism. No-one is arguing this way at the moment, but if euthanasia became an option, palliative care would surely languish. Many people suffer for years from illnesses which are not fatal. If we argue that the terminally ill have a right to die on compassionate grounds, why should we not treat these people with similar compassion? If they went to court and demanded the same right, could they be legally deterred? If so, on what basis? All other human rights apply universally. Of course some people would argue that everyone should have that right. Most would hesitate at the idea of allowing, say, a physically healthy but depressed twenty-five year old to die with a doctor's assistance, even if all treatment had failed. ...read more.

Conclusion

The good of the individual is inextricably bound up with the good of the community. Death is followed by judgment and an after-life. On the other hand is a secular humanist view which measures and grades the value of life on such things as consciousness of self, the ability to develop and the experience of pleasure. The good of the individual takes precedence over the good of the community. Death brings either non-existence or peace. It is not possible for both these views to form the basis of our laws. In one sense the debate over whether or not voluntary euthanasia should be legal is already irrelevant. For several years now, juries in Australia and other western countries have refused to convict people charged with assisting another person to die. In the face of public opinion, the law is helpless. (Abortion and prostitution are both illegal but freely available.) In Australia, Christians are a minority living in a democracy. We cannot insist on our view being accepted just because it has been accepted in the past. Our only option is to work to change the hearts and minds of those around us. In the short term that means pointing out the dangers and fallacies in what is being said. In the long term, it means spreading the gospel and praying that God's kingdom will come. ...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 ...

    For instance, the interview said that she felt no anger to the man who helped kill her uncle, in a way, she was grateful that he was there and I quote, "I see him as a hero, he was there for my uncle when he needed him most."

  2. What is meant by euthanasia?

    have to ask themselves whether or not the patient's quality of life would be improved if they withheld their treatment. In the article, it also has a case study of a girl, Laura Davies who suffered from cancer and went through a six-organ transplant.

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

    The death becomes the means to terminate the pain and relieve the emotional and physical burden of suffering from the family. Kant fundamentally believed "man cannot have power to dispose of his life" however, he also believed in human autonomy and that people were free to make rational choices, but how does that reflect on an absolutist deontological view?

  2. The benefits of euthanasia to Christians

    Such as working as a receptionist, coming face to face with business people to do with euthanasia or coming face to face with other people that work for the charity, in different departments or coming into contact with the patients.

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

    Catholics believe in three norms: Universal prohibitions against attempts on the life of an innocent person; universal duty to live one's life in accord with God's plan, that human life be

  2. Is Euthanasia accepted within Society? ...

    With the rise of organized religion, euthanasia became morally and ethically abhorrent. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all hold human life sacred and condemn euthanasia in any form. Following traditional religious principles, Western laws have generally considered the act of helping someone to die a form of homicide subject to legal sanctions.

  1. The Issues of Euthanasia in Whose Life Is It Anyway?

    "Music. We got a steel band-with some comedy numbers and we're getting around a bit.... We're auditioning for Opportunity Knocks in four months." John has the tactfulness, in a way, to not ask Ken how he is and bring the attention and focus on him, whereas Ken most likely wants to

  2. Explain how Christians apply these beliefs to Abortion and Euthanasia, showing you understand different ...

    For this reason I say abortion is the greatest evil. If anyone of you does not want his own child, do not kill it, give it to me". The Church of Scotland's Board of Social Responsibility has a slightly more hard line approach to abortion.

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