The belief regarding the sanctity of life means that our lives are very precious and of immense significance. I am going to research two religions Islam and Judaism and examine what their views are on the facts of euthanasia.

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Euthanasia is the process of ending human life by artificial means. It is to change the uncertainty of the time of the natural death which depends upon so many seen and unseen, known and unknown factors into the certainty of the time of death by known and calculated means. Euthanasia is illegal in Britain but allowed in the Netherlands under certain circumstances. There are many types of euthanasia.

Voluntary euthanasia - when the ill person chooses to ask to die but is incapable of committing suicide without any help. This is often called 'assisted suicide'

Involuntary euthanasia - when other people (doctors) decide that it would be best if a person's life ends because he or she is not able to make such decision for themselves.

Active euthanasia - when action is taken to bring a life to an end; for example a lethal dose of drugs being administered.

Passive euthanasia - when action is taken to bring life to an end by stopping providing treatment so death will be the result.

Euthanasia is a complicated issue as there are so many medical treatments available to keep people alive. If somebody is badly injured and loses the ability to think and feel and there is no chance of recovering they can still be kept alive for a long time. If a baby is born with abnormalities it can be artificially kept alive. Euthanasia is not just about killing the concerned person, there is much more to it than that. It is deciding when enough is enough and sometimes it can be kinder to let people go than letting them carry on being in pain.

The belief regarding the sanctity of life means that our lives are very precious and of immense significance. I am going to research two religions Islam and Judaism and examine what their views are on the facts of euthanasia.

Islam simply states that euthanasia is forbidden whatever the circumstance may be. As life is sacred and that people are forbidden to kill or harm themselves in anyway.

"Nor kill or destroy yourselves, for verily Allah hath been Most Merciful."

Qur'an 4: 29

In the above quotation God explains to us in the Qur'an that euthanasia is not allowed as we do not own our body as it belongs to God and so we should not abuse it. The Holy Prophet (s) talked about two companions who were in such pain from injuries received from battle, that they lost courage and killed themselves. In respect of one companion the Holy Prophet (s) mentioned that Allah (swt) said "My servant hastened himself to me and so I made paradise unlawful for him". About the other, who was a distinguished warrior, the Holy Prophet (s) himself said "Despite the great feats displayed by this man, that single act of his wiped off all his services in the cause of Allah and doomed him to hell."

Hadith, Bukhari

So again we are informed of the dreadful nature of euthanasia and its consequences in the Hereafter, for those who perform or aid any forms of euthanasia. The human life is accorded great respect in Islam, as God has made mankind 'His vicegerents on earth'. (Qur'an, 2: 30). Human life is therefore considered inviolable.

"Nor take life which Allah has made sacred except for just cause."

Qur'an, 17: 33

"If a man kills a Believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell, to abide therein (forever): and the wrath and the curse of Allah are upon him, and a dreadful penalty is prepared for him."

Qur'an, 4: 93

In the Muslim's holy book, God warns the Muslims by pronouncing that if a Muslim helps another Muslim to die, then the only thing that awaits both of them is the hell fire. We as Mankind are not in control of how life comes in to this world and so to take it away is a disrespectful thing towards God's plan and wishes as he is the one who created us and so understands the pain his servants are going through. According to Islam death is not an end-point, but it is a passage from the temporary abode in this world to the permanent life in the Hereafter. Muslims have to live for the betterment of all humanity, undergoing stress and strain even to the extent of suffering for the reward in the next life. From the Islamic point of view death is a trivial matter. One should neither undergo it in an unnatural way to avoid prolonged suffering nor postpone death artificially with the help of advanced support.

The Prophet Ayyub demonstrated the role of others in easing a person's suffering. The wife of Prophet Ayyub stayed with her husband through all calamities and carried out everything in her power to help and provide for her husband. This shows that Muslims should render service to those in need. This also includes visiting the sick, encouraging them to be patient, and praying for them. Indeed, the Prophet (s) said that visiting a Muslim when he is sick is one of the obligations owed by one Muslim to another Muslim. Relatives have the further obligation of taking care of the sick amongst them. As all Muslims should take care of each another in troubled times. Muslims are advised by the prophet to not kill one another by pushing one into the jaws of death. The Holy Prophet (s) said:
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"No one of you should ever wish for death because of any misfortune that befalls him. Should anyone be sore afflicted, he should say: "Allah, keep me alive so long as life is the better for me, and cause me to die when death is the better for me."

Hadith, Bukhari and Muslim

The quotation above has only one meaning, which is that as long as a believer has drop of life, he or she has the power to do good even if in great pain, and most importantly as long as a sinner has life, ...

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