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Is Euthanasia morally acceptable?

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Introduction

Euthanasia over the years has been described as a "gentle way to ease the pain of a suffering individual" (Torr 12). There are many who justify this feat as a way to eliminate unnecessary terminal pain, and who value the quality of life, rather than the quantity of it. However, it is in particular that we focus on how religious groups see and view the act of euthanasia. Although religion has the ability to divide the world, the issue of euthanasia is one where world religions unite and refute to accept a suffering human being, having the ultimate choice in terminating their life. The term "euthanasia" is derived from Ancient Greek and it means "good death" (Torr 12). "Euthanasia, and the public's awareness to this matter, can be traced back to a court case in 1975, when Karen Ann Quinlan consumed an immense amount of alcohol and tranquilizers at a party one night. This resulted in an irreversible coma that left her unable to breathe without a respirator or eat without a feeding tube. Her parents requested that she be removed from this situation, but the doctors objected to this idea. ...read more.

Middle

As Christian's we are taught to be strong and courageous in the battle of suffering and that God has the ultimate power of healing. By going ahead with euthanasia we are denying God's love and guidance. We are temples of God's being and do not have the choice of when it is right to die. "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"(LaRue 92). The most important document dealing with euthanasia is the Declaration on Euthanasia which specifically states the Roman Catholic Church's view on suffering and euthanasia. It is here that the doctrine condemns crimes against life. "Intentionally causing one's own death, or suicide, is therefore equally as wrong as murder; such an action on the part of a person is to be considered as a rejection of God's sovereignty and loving plan.(LaRue 95)" The Roman Catholic Church believes that the act of killing, either of one's own self or another person, "is a violation of the divine, and offence against the dignity of the human person, a crime against life, and an attack on humanity"(LaRue 96). ...read more.

Conclusion

World religions have come together on this issue, and all value the existence and blessing of human life. For however different traditions may be, the intrinsic force of a human life is a gift from God and is not ours to decide when we have had enough. It is God's decision, and when he decides our time is through on this earth, he will let us know and take us to a higher place. Although it is painfully hard to watch somebody we love suffer, and the many questions of why we must endure and undertake such agony can sometimes question our loyalty to faith. It is with this research knowledge that I have understood, that no matter what religious beliefs one may have, God has the ultimate plan and the suffering will end in God's time. It is fulfilling to have researched various religions and to have seen that no matter who you pray to, He only allows the suffering because there is something greater to experience when the pain is gone. It reminds me of the saying. "What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger." And even though terminal pain and suffering does end in death and loss, it teaches us to believe in our faith, and that suffering in one way or another is not forever. ...read more.

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