Euthanasia is defined as the “gentle and easy death: the bringing about of this especially in the cases of incurable and painful disease. ” Euthanasia brings with it negative and positive aspects which makes this such a controversial issue. For instance in the case of a patient suffering from a long and painful death, even with our great medical advancements, death seems like the only option as they “feel that it is their right to decide when their life should end, particularly if they are suffering. ” There are a few groups with different views on this issue such as:
Exit- The Voluntary Euthanasia Society, who aim to change the laws around Euthanasia which at present say “anyone (doctors included) who helps the suffering to end their life risks the possibility of being charged with murder or manslaughter. ” Exit believe an adult person who is in constant pain or in other words a severe illness which is incurable and no medical procedures can give any noticeable relief should bear the right of law to choose a “painless death”, only if they decide, this is known as Voluntary Euthanasia.
People in the past and at present may have used/use Doctors to decrease their life to help them die peacefully at their own request. In these circumstances it is usually kept quiet with only loyal and trusting co-workers to protect them from the law. In case they are charged with murder/manslaughter. Exit believes these doctors should be allowed to help their patients in this way. But the law has to face the problem that this could be used in the wrong way and people may be killed when either it isn’t their request or that even the older generation who may live with their children’s family and feel a burden on the family.
The idea to decrease or stop any cases of this happening is that the patient should have signed a declaration note requesting this more than 30 days before the procedure has taken place. Many Christians share the same beliefs as that of Exit’s but the majority would say only God has the right to decide when to end someone’s life as he gave life so only he can take it. In my opinion this is perhaps one of the most important points to be recognised. The Christian belief is based around the teachings of God, which can be learned from the bible holding the New and Old Testament.
In which the 10 Commandments are held and the sixth clearly states that we must not commit murder and it is a wide Christian view that Euthanasia is murder as each human Life is “sacred and has dignity” being that we, mankind are a gift from our lord. As in Genesis 1:27 it says “God made man in his own image”. Since we are made of mind body and soul we are precious in the eyes of God and therefore we should also be this in the man’s eye, everyone of us are a “potential temple for God” if God is “asked in”. All of this is told in 1 Corinthians 6: 18-20.
If we trust in God we must care for his gift (life) to us and must use it wisely being “responsible”, and remember Death may seem the best solution but it isn’t the end of life but instead “a new event in life. ” A Doctors job is too help a patient and give any drugs to prolong and protect their life from illness. But this gives him no right to put them out of their suffering, a strong view of many Christian’s. Which could be closely related to Jesus in the New Testament, when healing the sick and dying and it even tells us how he brought a girl back to life with his miracles.
In conclusion, looking at the Christian view and the voluntary Euthanasia Societies I can see how divided and just how hard it would be to completely resolve. What is the correct thing to do? Case Study: In this section I have studied a paragraph written by a man suffering from “diabetes, failing eyesight and arthritis” named John. He was actively involved in the church but is unable to attend now, and is often in pain from his illness, but a member of the church visits him each week. Now that he is eighty and lives with his daughter and her family he is worried of being a burden.
In this case I feel the illness he is suffering from isn’t a good enough reason for such an act. I understand that losing your eyesight and painful joints from arthritis or being diabetic may be very hard to live with but in my view Euthanasia should never be considered. Incurable diseases and extreme pain leading to death causes some to consider euthanasia however I hold the Christian view that each human being is a gift from God and that each one of us are sacred. Viktor Frankl in his book Man’s Search for Meaning states; A creative life and life of enjoyment are meaningful. If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering.
Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete. The way in which man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity- even under the most difficult circumstances- to add A deeper meaning to his life. ”
The author stated this after his experience in a concentration camp. I believe that one must come down very clearly on the view of euthanasia before one is faced with the dilemma. To value human life and to value suffering are key to being against euthanasia. ” From studying Euthanasia in this project I have learned much about the issue and why the government won’t change the law. I can only say that it has enforced my view and belief that God gave us life and that only He can take it away. I understand the views of people who are suffering extreme pain each day they live and therefore I hold this view timorously.
I also believe that to condone euthanasia opens the door to abuse and selection of the fittest. This is too shocking to even contemplate as it suggests that people with disability are not valued and have nothing to contribute. I also believe that the dying patient needs to believe that the doctor cares and is doing every thing to alleviate pain and prolong life. Would this attitude prevail if laws for euthanasia were changed? Will this argument ever be resolved? I hope that in holding this view-the tide of change will be held back.