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What is Euthanasia?

There are 4 different types of Euthanasia, these consist of,

Assisted Suicide - This is also called Voluntary Euthanasia because someone, such as a doctor, deliberately ends a person’s life at his or her quest. It might be by administering an overdose of drugs or deliberately leaving strong drugs within reach of the patient knowing what they want to do. If the patient subsequently commits suicide then the doctor is considered to have assisted in that suicide.

Euthanasia - The word comes from the Greek where eu = good and thanasis = death. Some people refer to euthanasia as ‘mercy killing’, because it involves ending someone’s life painlessly at their request, in order to prevent further suffering.

Passive Euthanasia - This is where a patient is allowed to die. A seriously ill cancer patient may not be revived if they collapse from a heart attack or a severely deformed baby is not put on a life-support machine. In some situations a patient may be given strong drugs to control their pain, and these may hasten their death.

Non Voluntary Euthanasia - This is when a person helps somebody die without consulting them because the patient is in no position to make their wishes known. The most obvious situation would be switching off the life support machine of a patient who is ‘brain dead’.

Anti Euthanasia Argument - The Slippery Slope

The Slippery Slope Argument is the idea that if euthanasia becomes legal it would normalise the practice of voluntary euthanasia or assisted suicide. This in term can lead to non-voluntary euthanasia which means people may end up being persuaded or influenced to end their lives against their will, In most cases, there are a series of steps or gradations between one event and the one in question and no reason is given as to why the intervening steps or gradations will simply be bypassed.

A Christian Response to Euthanasia

Most Christians are against euthanasia. The arguments are usually based on the beliefs that life is given by God, and that human beings are made in God's image. Some churches also emphasise the importance of not interfering with the natural process of death. Human life possesses an intrinsic dignity and value because it is created by God in his own image for the distinctive destiny of sharing in God's own life

These are the 4 most common Christian arguments,

  • Life is a gift from god, killing would be disobeying god

  • Human beings are valuable because they are made in God's image

  • The process of dying is spiritually important, and should not be disrupted

  • All human lives are equally valuable

Pro Euthanasia Arguments - Right to Die

Many people think that each person has the right to control his 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 that lies the idea that human beings are independent biological entities, with the right to take and carry out decisions about themselves, providing the greater good of society doesn't prohibit this. Allied to this is a firm belief that death is the end.