RP A-Level Abortion & Euthanasia May 2011 Part A

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  • May 2011 Abortion + Euthanasia Part A
    • The Sanctity of Human Life
      • Declaration on Euthanasia (1980)
        • Defined euthanasia as 'an act or an omission which of itself or by intention causes death, in order that all suffering may in this way be eliminated'
          • To ask for this or do it to another person is not allowed as it goes against the first primary precept of natural law; self-preservation and so hastening death through euthanasia is not allowed.
            • Understands that suffering can be strenuous both physically and psychologically
              • Very few people can follow what Mother Teresa did and limit the dosage of painkillers in order to unite themselves with the sufferings of Christ.
                • Also says that 'suffering has a special place in God's plan of salvation'.
      • Humans were created in imago dei (Genesis 1:26) and therefore human life has an inherently sacred attribute that must be protected and respected at all times.
        • Although humans have permission to kill and eat other life forms (Genesis 9:3) killing another human being is extremely forbidden and, ironically, punishable by death (Genesis 9:6)
    • Buddhism
      • Oppose euthanasia as death is very important event to them as it links one life to the next
        • Teach  that the state of mind of the individual when dying can affect their next life and therefore people should have a 'good' death that is free of anxiety.
          • Buddhist monks are forbidden from taking the lives of those with a very poor quality of life.
            • Good or bad kamma is produced according to the intention of the act and therefore is no distinction between active and passive euthanasia.
              • Personal freedom is an important part of Buddhist teachings it does not extend to the right to take one's life.
          • No guarantee that the ending of suffering in this life will mean that the next life will be any better.
    • Church of England
      • Life is an intrinsic gift from God.
        • Duty to protect innocent and vulnerable
          • Weak would feel a pressure to request euthanasia
      • Hospice movement should be fully supported.
        • Founded in 1967 by Dame Cicely Saunders who was a nurse at the time.
          • A hospice is a house or home dedicated to the care of terminally ill patients. The first hospice was set up by Christian nuns in 1900 in Ireland. There are about 100 hospices in the UK. Many of them have a Christian basis, set up by Christians who believe they are the best alternative to active euthanasia.Hospices are not funded by the Government. They are paid for by fundraising, donations and money left in wills. There are not enough hospices to meet the demand for beds.
            • The purpose of hospices is to care for and support patients and their family and friends.There are 3 main aims of hospice care:To relieve pain. Hospice staff believe all pain, however severe, can be brought under control, allowing for a peaceful and relatively pain-free death.To help patients, friends and relatives face up to death. Although many hospices are Christian foundations, no attempt is made to persuade patients to become Christians. Opportunities are given to the patients and to family members to discuss death and dying.To care for the emotional needs of friends and family. Hospices help families cope with bereavement before, during and after the death of their relative.The hospice movement believes that the patient is still living and should be encouraged to have a life even while they are dying. In a hospital, the patient wouldn’t be given the personal care he/she would receive in a hospice.
              • Many Christians support the hospice movement and believe that if there were enough spaces available for all who wished to go there, that euthanasia would not be needed.
    • Authority of Scripture
      • God alone is the Lord of Life and Death
        • Humans do not have the authority to take life away
          • God is love, God created life, life is loving, loving to keep life.
          • Humans are responsible stewards and should care for the life of others and their own.


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