Euthanasia The subject of euthanasia is a difficult and sensitive area of ethics.
A Christian Response to Euthanasia by Dr. This article was originally published in two parts. Both parts are on this page. Part 1 The current "debate" on the legitimacy of euthanasia is a good indicator of the overall moral state of Canadian society.
This debate also illustrates how secularized some Christians have become, blindly adopting anti-Biblical concepts such as the "quality of life" or even the "right to die. And, isn't it cruel to deny a suffering person an easy death when they are dying anyway?
This two-part series addresses the issue of euthanasia from a Christian perspective. In part one, we will discuss definitions and contrast the Christian world view with the prevailing ideologies in our society that have engendered the push for euthanasia. In the next issue, we will discuss the ramifications of these disparate perspectives, examine the related issues of quality of life and autonomy, and conclude with thoughts about what each of us can do.
What Euthanasia is and is not In a war of ideologies, the first casualties are the definitions of the terms used.
Euphemisms abound when people resort to deceit in attempting to convince others. For example, in the language of the day, administering a lethal injection becomes "aid in dying. What is generally meant by the term euthanasia is mercy killing - the deliberate ending of a person's life to reduce their suffering.
More commonly used today, however, is the phrase the "right to die. In the terminology battle, the proponents of euthanasia are seeking to redefine what is now known as a form of homicide and call it acceptable medical practice. The debate is very much an ethical one.
Natural death, which results from illness or degenerative processes, is the antithesis of mercy killing. Even when life could be prolonged by medical treatment and is not, the death that may ensue is a death from the underlying illness, not a result of the withdrawal of care.
The withholding of medical therapy is reasonable when the treatment is disproportionately burdensome that is, the therapy - not the disease - is hard on the person and relatively ineffective "futile".
In other words, we are not ethically bound to use unwanted, non- beneficial therapies that serve to only prolong a person's dying. In fact, not doing so shows profound respect for the boundaries of natural life. It is important to understand that euthanasia cannot be equated with the current understanding of palliative care.
Palliative care is the active relief of suffering in a terminally-ill individual, and although there are occasions when treatment may shorten life, this is not the intended or anticipated result. It is simply a side effect or complication of therapy and is therefore ethically permissible.
Generally, adequate doses of narcotics to relieve pain do not shorten life.
The Christian World View The underlying principles of our society were once based on the Biblical world view; indeed, western culture and our legal system were founded on it.
An overview of selected Scriptures will reveal what this view of man is and how it is derived.A. AGS Ethics Committee, Physician-Assisted Suicide and Voluntary Active Euthanasia. Journal of American Geriatrics Society, May , 43(5) The Ethical Dilemmas of Euthanasia June 01, 2 Comments Discussion of euthanasia often elicits strong emotion, which is not surprising as it involves life and death issues.
Whilst many who are not Christians oppose euthanasia, they struggle to offer credible arguments for the special character of human life. Only an ethic built on biblical, Christian foundations will be adequate to resist the growing volume of support of the legalisation of (voluntary) euthanasia.
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This is a mystery activity on euthanasia, exploring the moral dilemma and the Christian views on this ethical issue of euthanasia.
Euthanasia, an Analysis of an Ethical Dilemma - Voluntary euthanasia is defined as the act of killing someone painlessly, especially to relieve suffering from an incurable illness, with their consent (Collins English Dictionary, ).