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The Roman Catholic Church teaches that human life is sacred. Explain how this teaching influences its attitude to abortion and euthanasia, showing that you understand other points of view.

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Introduction

ABORTION AND EUTHANASIA 1. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that human life is sacred. Explain how this teaching influences its attitude to abortion and euthanasia, showing that you understand other points of view. First I will start with definitions of three key words in the question. These three words are abortion, sacred and euthanasia. The type of abortion I will talk about in this coursework is procured abortion. Abortion is the termination of the life of a foetus; procured abortion is the termination of the foetus with outside help. The word sacred means, consecrated, blessed by god, given by god, therefore most holy (hallowed). In terms of human life, it means, human life is precious because it is a gift from god. Euthanasia means 'easy death' without severe suffering, today the word is used to mean 'mercy killing' because it puts an end to extreme suffering, it prevents abnormal babies growing up, it ends the life of the mentally ill and it can prevent the incurable from having a miserable life. There are two types of euthanasia that I should be aware of. There is voluntary euthanasia and non - voluntary euthanasia. Voluntary euthanasia is where a person with a painful terminal disease who, unable to do anything for themselves, asks someone else to kill them painlessly, for example, the doctor gives them a lethal dose of painkillers. Non - Voluntary is where a person is not kept alive because they are regarded as having a worse life than death, but cannot make any decisions for themselves. The meaning of abortion and euthanasia are quiet clear from their definitions. As far as different views are concerned mostly all groups of Christianity are against the concept of abortion, there are humanitarian groups, which are in favour of it, they have their own views that are totally different then the religious views. Although the catholic church does teach abortion and euthanasia wrong, full stop, not all people in the catholic church believe this and may ...read more.

Middle

Women will not be able to take a full and equal part in the society when we can all decide for ourselves whether and when to have children.' National Abortion Campaign states the basic right of women to control its own fertility, they say that women have a full right to choose when they want to have children. Humanist Dipper supports abortion by suggesting that Humanist regards abortion better than bringing unwanted humans into the world. It is a mistake to say that Humanist are in favour of abortion; no one can be in favour of abortion, which, except in unexpected circumstances, is result of failed contraception: 'We think there will probably always be a certain number unplanned pregnancies and that the mother concerned should have the complete choice of either complete abortion, or keeping the baby.' Euthanasia, at the moment is illegal throughout the world apart from in the State of Oregon in USA, where there is a law specifically allowing doctors to prescribe lethal drugs for the purpose of euthanasia. In the Netherlands it is practised widely, although, in fact, it remains illegal. So the alternative to euthanasia in Christianity is 'Hospice movement'. The hospice movement is an alternative to euthanasia. Dame Cicely Saunders, doctor and founder of the hospice movement says: 'I'm against euthanasia for a positive reason; I have seen people achieve so much in the ending of their lives - times that their families would have missed. It's often time after they might have asked to opt out when they perhaps would have gone in bitterness, whereas they finally go in peace and fulfilment' The kind of care hospice give to the patients is very distinctive for they offer tender loving care. The three aims of hospices are: - To relieve pain, to enable patients and families to face up to death and to care for emotional needs of the relatives. A hospice offers care to the patients and their families at the most difficult stages in their lives. ...read more.

Conclusion

If we aren't careful religions will be wiped out completely and then people will only be able to ask themselves, "What's the point of living?" then the sacredness of life is lost. I think instead of trying to kill off the dying we should assist them and care for them in the time they most need it. We should make them as comfortable as possible. Nobody should want to die, but just take it when it is ready for him or her to go. Not too early or too late. There are also other life and death issues that should be considered in answering to the statement such as capital punishment. I strongly disagree with capital punishment as we should be able to forgive people for their sins and help them to fix what they have done wrong instead of inflicting pain on the 'criminal'. God should be the judge of whether a person should die. We do not have the right to say that a person should die because they have done something wrong. Jesus taught us to forgive people no matter what the sin. In answer to the statement I would say that as a Catholic I mostly agree with it. I think that God has given a child the right to life at the moment of conception and that life should only end when God feels it is time. We must remember that everyone has different views and opinions on this subject and so we should not be prejudiced to anyone just because they do not share the same views as us. Therefore I believe that with some things people should have the right to a choice but it should be up to the individual person to decide on what they believe is the right and moral thing to do. I think that more counselling and advice sessions should be available to people to help them make such a decision. This currently happens in the Catholic Church, and I think has helped a lot of people through hard times where they may have given up. Phil Richardson ...read more.

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