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Describe the teachings of Christianity about the sanctity of life in relation to euthanasia.

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Introduction

Religious Studies Ethics Coursework 1. Describe the teachings of Christianity about the sanctity of life in relation to euthanasia. All Christians believe in the sanctity of life; this means that all life is holy and sacred, because it is God given and part of God is contained within the Human body, this scripture uses this as the reason for not killing one another "Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God has He made man." Genesis 9:6 They also think that because humans are created in God's image, we have been given an inherent and God-given dignity and our value is immeasurable in the eyes of God. It doesn't' matter if you are rich, or poor, able or not, all are the same to God.The bible teaches that Humans do not own their own bodies they belong to God. Humans are stewards of their lives rather than owners. 'The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.' Psalm 24:1 This shows that Human lives are not for us to take since they do not belong to us, they belong to God, and it is only for him to decide when each life ends. Christians would therefore say that destroying our own bodies is an irreverent and unholy act. ...read more.

Middle

In addition, they believe that, although it is human responsibility to preserve life, we do not have to insist that the terminally ill are kept alive using unnecessary and extraordinary medical efforts just because they are available due to advances in medical science. Roman Catholics have the same views as the Orthodox Church, the pope says, "Euthanasia is a grave violation of the law of God, since it is the deliberate and morally unacceptable killing of a human person." Pope John Paul II: Evangelium Vitae, 1995 The only difference between the orthodox and Catholic views is that Roman Catholics believe in the double effect, this means that a patient may be given medicine, which will shorten or eventually end their life if the only intention was to relieve pain. This is not seen as morally wrong. 2. Explain how these beliefs might affect the behaviour of a believer Some Christians who disagree with euthanasia but support the idea of dying with dignity have been involved with the setting up of the hospice movement. A hospice is a place people with terminal illnesses are treated until they die. The hospices focus in pain control and the aim of the hospice movement is to give people with painful terminal diseases the best possible quality of life for the remainder of their life. ...read more.

Conclusion

What needs to be taken into account is the quality of life a person is likely to have. If Euthanasia was made legal, I believe that it would cause too many problems because there are so many problematic questions, such as, would this give the doctors too much power and responsibility? Would it lead to families pressurising relatives into it or social pressure for involuntary euthanasia of the Handicapped, senile and mentally ill? I think that with these all being possibilities for what could happen if euthanasia was legal we should not legalise it or make it morally all right. If we did then with all these problems we could end up with a Hitler society where people can be killed if they are not thought to be good enough for society this is a possibility we must not induce through meddling with death. Christians might also agree about the majority of my opinions; however, they might say that our actions towards a persons' condition should be irrespective of their potential for life since all life is of equal value to God. The issues concerning life and death and the line between then have become far too blurred .Everyone has very different opinions so therefore a consensus is impossible to achieve concerning situations involving these issues, this makes it a complicated and delicate subject to face. I think, therefore that we must take each case on its own merits. Helen Crutcher ...read more.

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