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Explain the beliefs Christians hold about their responsibility for those at the beginning and end of their lives.

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Introduction

AO1 - Explain the beliefs Christians hold about their responsibility for those at the beginning and end of their lives. Christians believe that God has mapped out our lives even before our conception. He has chosen what we will do therefore life should be protected and upheld. Each individual life is different and sacred. An early Christian document the Didache states: 'You shall not kill the foetus in its mother's womb.' This has been the traditional Christian teaching since the time of Jesus. This creates an emphasis that human life from its beginning should be respected. Also Pope Paul VI stated in the Humanae Vitae 1968 that; 'Human life is sacred..., all men must recognise this fact.' Christians believe that helping the vulnerable, disabled, the young, the old and sick teaches compassion. The parable of 'The sheep and goats' warn that God shall judge us on how we have helped others and felt compassion for those in need. Also in HLS they state; 'Once human life exists, we are morally bound to respect its right to life, to development, to human dignity. Otherwise the very basis of morality is undermined.' Arch Bishop Brady's statement in the Irish News stated; '...deliberate killing of the unborn child is a grave moral disorder.' ...read more.

Middle

The declaration on Procured Abortion stated; '...for Abortion which denies to another person the fundamental right to life..., it is rather the life of a new human being with its own growth. It would never be made human if it were not human already.' This means that at the time of conception a new human life has been created and must be allowed to receive at least the right to life. Irish bishops also state in their pastoral letter 'Human life is sacred' that; 'Each single embryo, even if invisible to the naked eye, is unique and unrepeatable..., The Church is not simply 'against Abortion'; she is for life and for human dignity and social justice..., the women who has suffered... are assured of the boundless compassion and unlimited mercy of Christ.' Deliberate Abortion is always gravely sinful. The embryo or foetus has the fundamental right to life from the first moment of conception. Choosing life, however, demands that we have facilities and support for pregnant women in situations of stress, for single teenage pregnant girls and mothers carrying handicapped children. Handicapped children can bring about patience in a person as they must be patient with them and also they can grow to love the child as much as any other. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also the Catholic Church teaches that Christians should believe that suffering is a way of strengthening faith and there for a purpose. It is not for an individual to try and escape for God's plan for them, and that the Old or disabled might feel that they should accept Euthanasia to avoid being a burden to their families. Pope John Paul II stated that; 'I confirm that the direct and voluntary killing of an innocent human being is always gravely immoral.' This statement can be used to describe Church teachings for both Abortion and Euthanasia. 'An action or omission which, in and of itself, or in its intentions, imparts death in order to do away with sorrow, constitutes a murder seriously contrary to the dignity of a human person and to respect for the living God, his or her creator.' This statement from the Catholic Catechism describes once again the teachings that; 'Human life is sacred and God is the only giver and sustainer of life.' Christians through Church teachings and Jesus' example believe that they hold a responsibility for those at the beginning and end of their lives by helping the poor, downtrodden, the elderly, the sick and vulnerable and especially the unborn. God has created life from the moment of conception and only he can take it away. Christian teaching therefore speaks out against Abortion and Euthanasia. However, Christians also believe that all people can be forgiven for their acts. ...read more.

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