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Religious Views on Euthanasia
There is no direct mention of euthanasia in the Bible. Although much of the teaching on the
sanctity of life is relevant to the debate
Genesis states that all humans are made in the image and likeness of God and
thereby human life is sacred.
Paul teaches that `your body is a Temple of the Holy Spirit' and therefore to
destroy it is to disrespect God.
Genesis also tells us that God is the creator and author of all human life and
Christians believe life is a gift from God therefore only God can take life away and
we have no right to end it early.
"The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away." Job. Job refused to take his
own life and argued that humans must accept suffering as we accept happiness and
"You shall not kill."Exodus. This is absolute and euthanasia breaches it. Wyatt
argues that in assisting another end their life we `damage our own humanity.'
Paul underlines the use of suffering in our lives: "suffering produces perseverance
perseverance, character and character, hope." It is necessary to suffer in our
lives for a Christian.
We can refer to Christ, our exemplary victim who suffered for us on the cross.
Suffering can have `spiritual value' by bringing people closer to God and their
families in their final days.
We should pray for strength and never lose hope when sick, not resort to
The Roman Catholic View on Euthanasia
Natural Law prohibits euthanasia it is immoral as it is contrary to God's plan.
"Euthanasia is a grave violation of the law of God, since it is the deliberate
and morally unacceptable killing of a human person." Pope John Paul II
"Those whose lives are diminished or weakened deserve special respect."
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The Church does accept the Doctrine of Double Effect in which pain killing
medication may be administered to a terminal patient even if the side effects of this
medicine will shorten a patient's life expectancy. This is because although death will
come quicker as a result of the medication, it is not the intention of the doctor who
only wishes to alleviate suffering and is therefore morally permissible.…read more
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The Methodist Church
Agrees with the other Christian denominations.
Importance of care for terminal patients, ability of patient to refuse extraordinary
treatment would simply prolong suffering.
"We must preserve meaningful life as far as is practicable."
"We believe that active euthanasia...is contrary to Christian teaching.…read more