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What are the moral and religious differences between euthanasia and suicide?

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James Walker What are the moral and religious differences between euthanasia and suicide? The word euthanasia can be traced back to two Greek words, 'eu' meaning well and 'thentos' meaning death. Together they mean painless happy death. "Euthanasia is the intentional killing by act or omission of one whose life is deemed not worth living" David Atkinson and David Field, New dictionary of Christian ethics and pastoral theology. Euthanasia can be split into four categories, Voluntary Euthanasia is the action taken at the request of an individual who whishes to die who is incapable of doing so, or the individual is such a case that he/she cannot request help to die but has left instructions to do so. Involuntary euthanasia takes place when an individual is killed to stop and suffering. ...read more.


Suicide can be performed out of loyalty to a dead person or master or to escape punishment or execution. The problem of suicide can be approached from two different angles, sociologically, which stresses social pressure on people to commit suicide and the psychoanalytic, which centers on the guilt and anxiety of people. Both suicide and euthanasia point out that death is preferable to the suffering which would be sustained of continuing life relating to pain of either physical or mentally which the individuals seek to avoid. Many religions condemn both euthanasia and suicide. The Catechism says that "whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons. It is morally unacceptable. Thus an act or omission which of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his creator. ...read more.


The Roman Catholic Church condemned anyone who asked for assisted death, as it is an offense to human dignity, a crime against life and an attack on humanity, Declaration of Euthanasia. For Christians especially suffering plays an important parting their faith because Jesus suffered on a cross for us suggesting human suffering means that it is a life lived in faith. In the book of Job it describes Job refusing to take his life arguing that the human race must accept suffering just as we accept happiness and joy backed up by the Catechism "Sick or handicapped persons should be helped to lead lives as normal as possible" Jesus himself taught us to love thy neighbour and those who call themselves Christians are asked to follow his examples, the problem arises when regarding to euthanasia. Obviously stopping all suffering and pain is important ...read more.

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