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Religious Education - Respect for life: Euthanasia

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Introduction

Religious Education - Respect for life: Euthanasia Euthanasia is a controversial issue in today's society. It is defined as the intentional ending of a life with the purpose of relieving pain or suffering. Many people believe that it is within a human's right to die a peaceful, dignified death with assistance. While others believe that euthanasia is an immoral act and that legalising the deliberate killing of humans will undermine the legal system in the UK. Currently in the UK, it is illegal for a doctor or another person to deliberately do something that causes the patient to die - e.g. an injection. This is known as active euthanasia, and the person could face murder or manslaughter charges. However, letting a patient die by switching off a life support machine does happen in hospitals in the UK. This is known as passive euthanasia and is not illegal. ...read more.

Middle

It says in the book of Genesis 'God made man in his own image'. The Christian attitude is that life is precious and has dignity. The life of every individual should be worthwhile, and nobody should see their life as worthless. The Bible also teaches that God gave man 'dominion over every living thing.' We as humans have God-given responsibilities and should use God's gifts and our lives to the full. Jesus did many good deeds towards the later years of his life, including helping the sick and dying. Christians believe that you should follow Jesus' example, therefore it would be more gracious to care for the dying rather than speeding up their death. The Bible teaches that everyone's body is a Temple for God, for those who ask him into their lives. Every life created is equally valuable, and no person is less important if they are ill or handicapped. ...read more.

Conclusion

Personally I believe that it is inhumane for a person to endure severe pain and suffering, instead of dying a dignified death. Also I disagree with the legal system when criminal charges are enforced upon a person who is assisting another person to die peacefully. I think that people's judgement of euthanasia is negative, as death is regarded as a bad thing. However voluntary euthanasia is positive as it gives the patient personal choice and may shorten the grief of the patient's loved ones if they know that the patient died a peaceful death. Although some people believe that euthanasia devalues life, I do not agree because I feel that it gives the patient an opportunity to end his or her life by celebrating their life in the company of loved ones. To conclude, I think that society's view on euthanasia needs to be more open, and hopefully people will realise that it is a positive thing, and not just a means of a quick death. ...read more.

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