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Explain what Christian teachings might be used in a discussion about euthanasia.

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1A. Explain what Christian teachings might be used in a discussion about euthanasia The word euthanasia comes from two Greek words "eu" meaning good and "thanatos" meaning death. Literally it means a "good death". Euthanasia is arranging for someone who has an incurable terminal illness to die as quickly and as painlessly as possible. It is the act of purposely aiding someone to die, instead of letting nature take its course. There are four main types of euthanasia these are: Voluntary, Involuntary, Active and Passive. Euthanasia is currently illegal in the UK, but is legal in the Netherlands and the state of Oregon however; it is still a widely discussed topic, which raises many moral questions. In this essay I will be discussing Christian teachings, which can be used in a discussion about euthanasia. Before I look at Christians teaching that can be used in the discussion about euthanasia it is important to find out where and how Christians make moral decisions. Christians use a number of sources to make decisions; these include the Bible, Church teachings, Jesus' actions and the society around them. It is also important to remember that the Bible does not mention euthanasia but however teachings from the Bible can be related back to the topic of euthanasia: The Roman Catholic Church's teaching on euthanasia is that it apposes it completely, this is an absolute view: " Euthanasia is a grave violation of the law of God, since it is the deliberate and morally unacceptable killing of a human person." ...read more.


Situation ethics evolves from the Christian teaching of Agape, Agape is Christian love. Situation ethics focuses on the most loving thing to do in a situation. Some Christians feel that it is better for someone to die a painless death in dignity than go on suffering in pain from a terminal disease. Therefore situation ethics can be used to support euthanasia, however not all Christians support this view: For a Christian who opposed euthanasia a teaching, which they would use to support their view, may be Didache's teaching: " For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under Heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die." Ecc Christians can see clearly from this that God chooses when we die. Another teaching that could be used to support this is: "No person has control over his or her own life." Ven. So therefore some believe that by humans taking life away unnaturally by euthanasia we are not only throwing God's gift of life back at him but are "playing God" and by doing this we are taking life's value away and making it seem disposable. Therefore this teaching opposes euthanasia. Another teaching that will support this view is Josiah's teaching from the Old Testament; " I was born with nothing and I will die with nothing " The lord gave and now he has taken away" From this some Christians see that we started our lives with nothing and we shall end with ...read more.


The modern hospice movement happened in the 1960's ad some have Christian influences however the staff and patients can be any faith or religion. A hospice will help the patient prepare for their death and will also care for the relatives who may be suffering; "Hospices are places where people come to live, not to die" Dr.H. Mossop - A hospice doctor Many Christians support the hospices because they treat the whole person, not just the disease; this is an example of the teaching: "Love your neighbour" Also, some Christians support the hospice movement because they say it supports the teaching: "Faith without action is an empty vessel" A hospice movement supports this teaching because the Christian is showing love and compassion for people by supporting hospices; therefore the hospice movement can be used in Christian teaching against euthanasia. In conclusion, it can be seen that there are many different views on the topic of euthanasia in Christianity, and there is no absolute view on euthanasia mainly throughout the Church except the Roman Catholic Church which gives clear guidelines for Christians to follow, while other churches will take a stand but will not take an absolute view which lets Christians explore the facts and make decisions for themselves. Also, by looking through the Christian teaching I have used I can see clear link between all of them and the Christian Love principle, which is important because this is the centre of Christian moral teaching. ...read more.

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