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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

'RESPECT FOR LIFE, ABORTION AND EUTHANASIA' BY JAMES DAVID ROONEY 11V MISS YATES CENTRE NUMBER 40515 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. (You should refer to the Bible, to thinking/writing of Christians and Roman Catholic tradition to illustrate and support what you say.) (KU2/28 Marks) (2) "God gives life and only God can take it away." Do you agree or disagree? Give reasons for your answer, showing that you have considered more than 1 point of view. (E/12 marks) Write no more than 1400 words on (1) Write no more than 600 words on (2) The Roman Catholic Church teaches that life Human is sacred When a new-born child is brought into the Roman Catholic Church at baptism, it is celebrated by the whole community. This is the first part of the Church's teachings that life is sacred and so new life should be celebrated as it is a gift from God to the world. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the word "sacred" means something given from God and all things that are considered sacred should be celebrated and treasured. This thing or person has been set aside by God to do His bidding or be part of His worship. The first mention that life is sacred from the Bible comes as part of the Ten Commandments "Thou shalt not kill". This is the first indication that the Church feels that all life is sacred. Jesus shortened the Ten Commandments into just two main ones "Love thy Neighbour" and "Love thy God". Both of these are an integral part of the Church's teachings that life is sacred. ...read more.

Middle

"It is not right to deprive a dying person of consciousness without a serious reason" (Pope Pius XII). The Catholic Church is fully opposed to any kind of Active Euthanasia. 'An action or omission which of itself or by intention causes death, in order that all suffering may in this way be eliminated' (Declaration on Euthanasia) Passive Euthanasia is where a person dies as a secondary effect of some other form of treatment, usually a pain reliever like morphine. This is part of the Law of Double Effect as death is a result of a secondary effect. Where a doctor withholds a drug which is only life prolonging, extraordinary treatment, this is also considered to be Passive Euthanasia. "A doctor gives drugs to a patient with the main purpose of relieving pain, but as a side-effect the patient has an earlier death. This is not Euthanasia as the intention was to relieve pain" (The Church's position on Euthanasia) The Church is not opposed in any way to passive Euthanasia and neither is any other Church. This is mainly due to the Law of Double Effect and not considered to be murder. Why is the Catholic Church opposed to Active Euthanasia? The Church believes that any kind of Active Euthanasia is murder and therefore wrong. It says that murder is contrary to the Ten Commandments "You shall not kill" and it is our duty to assist other life, not to kill it. It also says that if Euthanasia were to be allowed, it would have huge consequences on our community. It could put pressure on the elderly to accept Euthanasia to take the burden off their families. ...read more.

Conclusion

They may also argue that a woman has her right of autonomy to do what she likes with her own body. This means that if she wants to destroy her child then she has the right to do so. Some people may also argue that euthanasia is acceptable under certain circumstances. If a person is on a life support machine but is totally brain dead, it may be seen to be acceptable to turn off the machine as there is no chance of recovery. Also, if the patient has an illness like cancer, with no chance of recovery, then euthanasia may again be seen as acceptable. Euthanasia may also be seen as an end to suffering. Many older people who are in a lot of pain may want euthanasia to end this. They may see euthanasia as a much more dignified death than they would get through a long time of suffering. Other people may say that euthanasia can save NHS resources. This is not a Christian view as it puts a price on human life. Many Christians see abortion and euthanasia as the 'thin wedge of the slippery slope'. If it is allowed for anyone then it may eventually become compulsory for old and handicapped people. This would be going along the lines that Hitler took when he tried to create his perfect Race. I do not believe that we have the right to take life. In doing this we are saying that some humans are less worthy of life than we are and this is wrong. If, however, a person is in intense suffering and will not recover, that person should be given the means to end his/her life if they so desire. This is only as a last measure if there is no possibility that the person will recover or lessen their pain by continuing to live. ...read more.

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