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

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Bryony Wilkes L5H RS Moral issues Euthanasia Coursework 2003 A. 1. What is euthanasia? The word euthanasia comes from the Greek: 'eu'- meaning well and 'thanatos' meaning death, therefore euthanasia literally means 'to die well'. It is now often understood as causing death to happen, usually because of the pain and suffering of the individual. There are three types of euthanasia: Voluntary euthanasia, when a person asks to die before or during illness. Nonvoluntary euthanasia, which occurs when a patient is in a coma or not in a proper state to make the decision for themselves, this usually means the decision of relatives and doctors to stop drip feeding a patient or giving them drugs that they need to live. Involuntary, enforced or compulsory euthanasia is when a person is killed for medical reasons but they have no choice in it. For example, Hitler ordered the deaths of many mentally and physically ill people as he believed that they were useless and costing the state a lot of money. Voluntary euthanasia can be split into two types. Active voluntary euthanasia occurs when a person dies due to a direct action such as a lethal injection this is also called mercy killing. ...read more.


Many facing pain could use this to strengthen them and perhaps it is meant that they will receive a reward in heaven for what they have suffered. Christians would not be in favour of euthanasia because of passages such as Genesis 1:26-27 in which it is made clear that God gave us life and therefore it is his choice to take it away. We were created in the image of God and therefore have a purpose more than animals and we should be grateful to God for this gift in what ever state. Many would argue that this is not true as life has a quality to it and when enjoyment has gone from life and we are unable to live properly and comfortably then it is not worth living anymore. It is thought by many Christians that we do not have a right to attain happiness as we only have a right to pursue it as god have planned our lives and happiness is therefore God given. In Paul's letter to the Philippians 4:12-14 he says: 'I am content, whether I am full or hungry, whether I have too much or too little. I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me.' ...read more.


1 Corinthians 3:16-17 "Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy and that is what you are." Dame Cicely Saunders the founder of the hospice movement believes that euthanasia promotes loss of dignity for the sick. She believes that God is with all the sick and therefore however much they suffer they are with God. Psalm 23:4 "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me ..." She believes that it is important for people to look after their family and the sick as that shows God's love. In general the Bible forbids euthanasia and so do most religions to varying degrees. It is still important to remember that caring for people, just as Jesus did and doctors and nurses do today, is very important and that Christians should use their faith to strengthen them. Deuteronomy 31:6,8 "Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble..., for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.... And the Lord is the one who goes ahead of you.... Do not fear, or be dismayed." ...read more.

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