The word Euthanasia stems from the Greek, phrase ‘euthanatos’, which in turn means a gentle and easy death.
In the modern world, Euthanasia refers to when a person choses to have their life ended, usually due to the fact that they are suffering or are terminally ill from for example cancer or motor neurone disease. It is in some ways the humane way of ending someone’s life. Euthanasia is only legal in three countries, they are Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg, however Euthanasia is debated widely by many countries into whether it should be legalised or not.Euthanasia is illegal in Britain. To kill another person deliberately is murder or manslaughter, even if the other person asks you to kill them and anyone doing so could potentially face 14 years in prison.
In the countries that it is legal there are two types of Euthanasia; voluntary and involuntary. I will now be talking about a Christian response on the issue and any alternative arguments. Voluntary euthanasia is when the person concerned asks them to aid and assist them to die.The person may persuade another person to help them end their life, or in some cases write a living will which explains their wishes to someone if they were in such a situation that they were unable to communicate to them.
They also may refuse to have the needed medical treatment to keep them alive. Involuntary euthanasia is effectively the opposite of voluntary euthanasia. Involuntary euthanasia comes into play when a certain individual is no longer able to make a decision. An example of this would be in a coma or if the person in question is too young (a very young baby).This decision to allow the ending of the person’s life is therefore taken by relatives or medical experts.
There is also the case were the person may want to live but his or her life is ended anyway. This usually is classed as murder but not always in rare circumstances. The Catholic Church and The Church of England teach that euthanasia is morally wrong and should remain illegal. They along with many other Christians say and believe in the sixth commandment, ‘You shall not murder’, Exodus 20:13.
Catholics apply this belief to everybody however old or ill they happen to be and that all life is valuable.The late Pope John Paul II said that people should always choose life over death in any circumstance. ‘Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit’, I Corinthians 6:19. These few denominations along with many others are against the law that make euthanasia legal in any country.
Christians say that only God owns life – and therefore humans should not be allowed to choose to end their life. However some may argue that the person who is suffering is in unbearable pain meaning no good quality of life is possible and that ending your life is the best option. Also others can say that human beings have the right to die how and when they want to.Many people think that each person has the right to control is or her body and life and so should be able to determine at what time, in what way and by whose hand he or she will die. Behind this lies the idea that human beings should be as free as possible and that unnecessary restraints on human rights are a bad thing. However, many Christians believe that suffering and pain are part of life and not a reason to choose to end your life.
They believe that God should be trusted life and that God loves all humans in any way, even if they are terminally ill.We see this in the bible when God has said: ‘Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you. ” Hebrew 13:5. Some Christians believe that humans should die with dignity and they should die naturally, this also is a way of showing complete loyalty and faith in God. Christian denominations support the hospice movement that were developed for people to die in dignity.
They are places for terminally ill people who are cared for in such a way that they and their family feel no pain at all and may die in peacefully with comfort and dignity.In the same fashion the Church of England highly supports the hospice movement believing they are places of compassion and support. Despite this, people argue that if suicide is legal then why isn’t euthanasia? It is a more humane of ending someone’s life than suicide. Euthanasia is a much kinder way that forcing someone to continue their life of suffering. Not only does it eases the suffering of the patient but also eases the pain of the family who have to watch their relative go through agony. Moreover the ending of the person life can also remove any financial burden the family bears, both which benefit the patient and family.
Some even go as far as saying that the ending of the life of someone suffering from a terminal illness (i. e. Cancer) releases facilities for other people who perhaps have a ‘better’ chance of survival. Nevertheless, both the Catholic Church and the Church of England both believe that is it is acceptable to refuse lifesaving treatment because it allows nature to take its course and allows us to rely and trust God in all situations.
Euthanasia weakens society’s respect of the sanctity of life. Furthermore, The Roman Catholic Church also accepts death that occurs through what they call the ‘Double effect’.It is a clever medicine that relives most of the pain one may have, however the side-effect is that the movement of death is speeded up. It is a common type of way of ending someone’s life and is widely used in many hospices. Christians also argue that is euthanasia were to become legalised in Great Britain or in any other country then voluntary euthanasia is the start of a term called slippery slope that leads to involuntary euthanasia and the killing of people who are thought undesirable by doctors or even in extreme cases their families.
They say it gives doctors too much power and exposes ill patients to the pressure of ending their lives. Christians also say that Jesus healed the sick and dying, he did not kill them. We as humans have a duty to help others, who are suffering, not kill them. Humans have a responsibility to use God’s gifts to the full, not end it and so everyone is created by God and offered salvation through Christ ending someone’s life is always wrong. Christians may draw different conclusions to the legalisation of euthanasia firstly because they have different beliefs.
The Bible also states that we as humans should respect everybody’s decision and choices. Some Christians may also take this into account and say that if someone says they would like to end their life by stopping their fruitless medication due to the fact that they are terminally ill then we all should respect that decision. Furthermore, I do think that the main reason Christians draw different views on Euthanasia is due that particular person’s experience. For example, a Christian may know or have a relative or friend who has had a terminal illness and were not able to end their life but continue to suffer.It would therefore alter that person’s view on the legislation of euthanasia and they may draw different conclusions, to euthanasia. Other Christians may also believe in eugenics and would see it fit to kill anyone who could be harmful to the evolution of the human race.
In conclusion I personally belief is that euthanasia should be legalised in Britain but perhaps not in LEDC’s (Less Economical Developed Country) seeing as the process of euthanasia may be abused and would not work.I believe that everyone has a right to choose if they want to end their life, however I only think that it should be allowed if no quality of life can continue, for example if someone is paralytic and cannot do anything. I have a high respect for hospices and support the hospice movement seeing as I have had past experiences with them. I believe that if euthanasia is legalised it has to be regulated heavily by the doctors and patients should not be pressurised by anyone to end their life and however ill they may be, they have to right to choose whether they wish to live or die.