Sanctity of Life

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Muslim Views on Euthanasia

Muslims are taught that euthanisia is always wrong.

In Islam it is believed all life is created by Allah and belongs to him, therefore it would be wrong to take a life, even with a persons consent.

"To Allah belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He pleases."

Surah 42:50

Muslims feel that people do not have the right to even take their own lives and that suicides will be punished.

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Christian Views on Euthanasia

The Roman Catholic Church sees euthanasia as equal to murder and completely opposed to it. However in a similar way to abortion, the 'double effect' means that is a large dose of painkilers given to relieve a persons suffering and it leads to the unavoidable death of a patient, this is acceptable as the intent was not to kill the person.

The Church also does not belive in using 'extraordinary treatment' to keep people alive.

The Church of England have a similar view to this feeling if people are experiencing exreme suffering it is not the loving thing to do to go to extreme measures to keep them alive.

Hospices- Set up by Christians to allow terminally ill people to be cared for and die with dignity, it is an alternaive to euthanasia.

Christians believe they are not supposed to choose when they die.

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted."

Ecclesiastes 3:1-4

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Abortion: The artificial ending of the foetus whilst still in the womb

An abortion in the UK must be approved by two doctors and can only take place if:

  • the life or physical health of the mother is at risk.
  • the mental health of the mother is at risk
  • the mother’s existing family will suffer
  • there is a reasonable chance that the child will be born seriously disabled

If it is the mothers mental health or her family that are at risk the termination cannot take place after 24 weeks. If it is the health of the mother or baby at risk there is not limit.

Pro-life movements believe life begins in the womb and that abortion should not be allowed.

Pro-choice movements predominantly think the woman should have control over her body and that life starts at birth or much later in the oregnancy.

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Christian Views on Abortion

Christians teach that life is a sacred gift from God.

The Bible can be interpreted as saying life starts in the womb.

The Roman Catholic Church teaches the foetus is a human being. They also teach abortion is wrong under all circumstances, the only acception being if the mother being given life saving treatment results in the unavoidable loss of the foetus. This is called the double effect.

The Church of England and Quakers feel that abortion should not be encouraged but the life of the mother is more important than the life of the unborn child.

Roman Catholics believe life begins in the womb:

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart."

Jeremiah 1:5

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Muslim Views on Abortion

Abortion is never allowe within Islam unless it saves the life of the mother

If a pregnant woman is sentenced to death it cannot be carried out until the baby is born

Some Muslims believe that in the first four months of pregnancy the life of the mother is most important but that after this time it is equal to the life of the foetus.

"Do not destroy your offspring for fear of poverty, it is We Who provide for them and for you. Surely, destroying them is a great sin."

Surah 17:32

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Euthanasia is NOT suicide, suicide is when a person makes a decision to end their own life, without help.

Euthanasia is when someone who is suffering is given assistance in ending their life.

In the United Kingdom and many other countries euthanasia is illegal. Euthanasia is legal under some circumstances in the Netherlands (since 2002) .

Two types of euthanasia:

Voluntary Euthanasia- The person makes a concious decision and asks for someone to end their life.

Involuntary Euthanasia- When someone is no longer able to liv without life support and it is turned off without their permision as they are in a permenant vegetative state.

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