Explain the Christian view on euthanasia

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Explain the Christian view on euthanasia (35)

Euthanasia can be defined as, “the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma.” When considering euthanasia we must consider the difference between acts of commission and acts of omission. Acts of omission is when something is deliberately not done, e.g. not giving a blood transfusion and just perhaps leaving the person to die – this would not be classified as euthanasia. The BMA (British Medical Association) recognises a distinction between withholding treatment that may become burdensome on the patient and deliberately bringing a person’s life to an end. Voluntary euthanasia is an act of commission; a positive, deliberate action e.g. administering tablets deliberately to bring death.

There is a different between assisted dying and assisted suicide, although the two are closely linked. Assisted dying only applies to terminally ill, mentally competent adults and requires the dying patient, after meeting strict legal safeguards, to self-administer life-ending medication. Assisted dying is legalised and regulated in the US States of Oregon and Washington. Voluntary euthanasia, on the other hand, allows a doctor to administer life ending medication directly to the patient. Voluntary euthanasia is permitted in the Netherlands and Belgium. Christians are generally opposed to all forms of prematurely ending someone’s life, and in examining their reasons a good place to start is the Biblical argument.
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Christians believe that the Bible supports the sanctity of life. Euthanasia is intentional killing of the innocent and so contravenes the Sixth Commandment: “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13). This applies even in the case of suicide. The fundamental prohibition on killing, and the basis for it, is set out in Genesis 9:6: “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.” Our significance, and so the claim to protection, derives not from our ‘quality of life’ or gifts and abilities, but from our ...

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