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Many times the issue concerning mercy killing is brought up within the Christian church. This is often a hard topic to be decisive on. This act of mercy killing is often referred to as Euthanasia. Throughout my project I have brought arguments for and against Euthanasia. Also I have inputted some of my own personal opinions. In addition to that I have personal opinions from other people. Furthermore anecdotal evidence has been given within this project.Several points have been made concerning this issue and all have been based from a Christian perspective. There are several bible texts to justify my point or opinion. As the debate about euthanasia appears all the time, even when it is not publicised, I took the decided to write my contemporary issue project on ‘euthanasia’. As an issue euthanasia insists not to die. The term Euthanasia, is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary – bringing about of this, especially in the case of incurable and painful disease, comes from the Greek word ‘euthanatos’ meaning – ‘a gentle and easy death’. Initially euthanasia was called ‘mercy killing’ which means the act of purposely making or helping someone die, instead of allowing the person to die naturally. There are different names given to different methods of euthanasia.Euthanasia can be ‘passive’, ‘voluntary’ or positive’. Passive euthanasia is where nothing is done to prevent death, allowing the person to die, which could have been delayed. Voluntary euthanasia is where a request is asked either by the patient of the legal representative. Positive euthanasia involves taking deliberate action to cause a person’s death.There is debate as to whether there is really any difference between positive and passive euthanasia. When there is a removal of life-supports, or passive euthanasia, is to be seen as a contrast from active euthanasia, which is defined as “doing something to terminate life.” On the other hand, for many ethicists, “passive euthanasia” has become a “weasel term” which is seen only to deny responsibility and perhaps to clear the medical staff and the doctor from any accusations of having “done” something to cause the patient’s death.The debate about euthanasia props up all the time, even when it is not announced, it is still happening secretly all the time. I am going to look at the medical, religious, financial, social, political views to euthanasia.Euthanasia, at the moment is illegal throughout the world apart from in the State of Oregon in USA, where there is a law specifically allowing doctors to prescribe lethal drugs for the purpose of euthanasia. In the Netherlands it is practised widely, although, in fact, it remains illegal.History of EuthanasiaThis following extract was taken from Encarta encyclopaedia:Euthanasia has been accepted both legally and morally in various forms in many societies. In ancient Greece and Rome it was permissible in some situations to help others die. For example, the Greek writer Plutarch mentioned that in Sparta infanticide was practised on children who lacked “health and vigour”. Both Socrates and Plato sanctioned forms of euthanasia in certain cases. Voluntary euthanasia for the elderly was an approved custom in several ancient societies.With the rise of organized religion, euthanasia became morally and ethically abhorrent. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all hold human life sacred and condemn euthanasia in any form.Following traditional religious principles, Western laws have generally considered the act of helping someone to die a form of homicide subject to legal sanctions. Even a passive withholding of help to prevent death has frequently been severely punished. Euthanasia, however, is thought to occur secretly in all societies, including those in which it is held to be immoral and illegal.This was the information I researched on Euthanasia’s History.Should it be it accepted Within Our Society? Then be legalised.The social aspect to euthanasia I feel is the most common aspect to this issue. Commonly euthanasia within a society is portrayed as ‘okay’ and the right thing to do. But there are people who have their own opinion and view on this subject. I came across certain circumstances that society thought it would be right to perform euthanasia and they were:People who are elderly and suffering from the effects of ageing; they may feel that they have become a burden to their families or to society in terms of commitment, time and energy.A person paralysed after an accident and confined to a wheel-chair or bed (such a condition is known as ‘quadriplegia’ and people in that condition are called ‘quadriplegic’) may consider that, their quality of life has been reduced and they may not want to continue living.Anybody who’s had a family member with cancer or any other long-term disease knows that it is a real challenge to the mind as well as the body. Nowadays people begin to say, ‘That’s enough’ instead of thinking, how can we cut off the treatment, relieve more of the pain or bring in some social services? People have gone to what seems easiest option euthanasia. The improvement of technologies to prolong life of people to control dying can cause more and agonising pain. Over many years the public opinion has gradually moved to accepting the right of terminally ill persons to get assisted when it comes to death. Society has accepted the euthanasia as the right thing to do. Many people foresee it as the ‘easy way out’ and feel that no pain will be endured this way. But on the other hand there have been cases were people have been diagnosed as terminally ill and make a miraculous recovery.Numerous cases have been brought to the world’s attention of certain situations where terminally ill patients ask their own friend or relative to assist them in dying. I have never been in that situation but I know that I would never kill a friend of mine, I wouldn’t want to be left with the thought ‘What if they could have recovered?’ and my conscience couldn’t take it. But on the other hand people have been in the situation and felt that was the right thing to do. They feel sorry for their friend or relative and couldn’t bear to see them in a sick bed for their duration of life left.Euthanasia has become so accepted within society to the point where people are physically doing it their selves instead of a going through a medical procedure. All are emotionally laden questions. Discussions about euthanasia often get end up in a lot of emotional allegations, such as charges that most vulnerable humans are pressured by people who practices euthanasia and that families must fight “anti-life assaults on their loved ones” which “threaten the lives of those who are medically vulnerable”.The main groups that argue the case against euthanasia are* The religious groups.* Groups who are supporting disabled people, and will dread that euthanasia is the first action towards a society that will kill disabled people against their will.* Medical associations whose members are dedicated to saving and extending life, and feel uncomfortable helping people end their livesWithin society a lot of people assume that if voluntary euthanasia were to be legalised, society would soon allow involuntary euthanasia. If we changed the law to allow a person to help someone die, suppose this became true then the idea that society has is that, we would not be able to control it. People may feel to take it under there self to perform they think is euthanasia and may be even being suicide and euthanasia used as an excuse for death. Which will result in the death rate increasing dramatically within the community.The organisations that support the legalisation of voluntary euthanasia were set up in Britain in 1935 and in the United States in 1938. Throughout their battle for legalisation they have accumulated some public support, but have so far been unable to achieve their goal in Britain or the United States. Throughout the past few decades, Western laws that are against passive and voluntary euthanasia have gradually been eased, although serious moral and legal questions still exist.Euthanasia is not legal within the UK, but many people want that to be modified so that it is legalised. There is a campaign united with many people who call themselves ‘The Voluntary Euthanasia Society’ (EXIT) who believes that many people would be grateful of ‘the mercy of a painless death’. Nevertheless, if euthanasia were to be legalised within our society then that may result in the death rates dramatically increasing, as already mentioned and also the elderly may feel under pressure to end their life, even if they don’t want to. The severe concern about the issue of legalising euthanasia is the right to die may become a duty to die. There is a fear of elderly patients being pressured by friends, family, the government or social workers to choose euthanasia, yet that choice may not agreement with their personal values. My way of seeing this situation is that it will get to the point where, those people the terminally ill patient would usually look for to for would turn on them to a certain extent. The people they seek for support and strength, will then become a foe looking, waiting for the person to die for the sake of money, inheritance, weariness, or other reasons, to terminate the life of the person.Within society we will always find selfish relatives who would rather have a terminally ill relative die sooner than later. If that were the case the law states, people like this will have to convince physicians and perhaps also hospital personnel that the patient’s life should not be ended because of greed or some other malicious reason, but rather because of the excruciating pain from the disease. To seek to pressure the terminally ill elder to ask for assistance in dying would be to aid and abet a suicide, which is punishable by law and which will remain a crime even after euthanasia laws are passed.In conclusion, euthanasia is within society is a questioned if it’s a alternative or easy way out. Some people may argue it’s a of choice empowering people to have control over their own bodies. The only legally right alternative to euthanasia is to remain alive, sometimes in excessive pain, until their body finally collapses. Otherwise if u live in Colombia, Japan, the Netherlands or the state of Oregon euthanasia can be performed legally.Christian’s AspectThere are three main arguments offered by Christians, and those of other faiths, that advise against an individual seeking euthanasia, for whatever reason.Life is a gift from God, and that “each individual [is] its steward.” Thus, only God can start a life, and only God should be allowed to end one. An individual who commits suicide is committing sin.”Your Body is a Temple of the Holy Spirit” Life is seen as a sacred gift and we don’t have the right when to decide when to end it.God does not send us any experience that we cannot handle. God supports people in suffering. To actively seek an end to one’s life would represent a lack of trust in God’s promise.These points above made above are the main concepts to the Christian’s argument arguing against euthanasia.Modern medicine has been accused of “playing God” by keeping alive those who would, without technological support, die. It is at this point that sanctity of life doctrine clashes with “quality of life” experiences. Arguments claiming theological merit in suffering may encourage some to choose not to accept euthanasia, but the theology of one group cannot be sanctioned as acceptable for all.Majority of religions object against the act of Euthanasia, Christianity is one in many that disapproves it according to the belief human beings have a special place in God’s heart, eyes and in his creation.”For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb” Psalm 139:13Christianity does offer an alternative to euthanasia, which is the ‘Hospice movement’. The good-hearted care hospice offers to give to the patients’ tender loving care. The three aims of hospices are:* To relieve pain.* To enable patients and families to face up to death.* To care for emotional needs of the relatives.A hospice offers care to the patients and their families at the most difficult stages in their lives. The hospice helps issue such as emotional pressure, physical issues, psychological concerns, and their spiritual lives. This help is given to the family of the terminally ill person and the person who is also ill. The hospice helps the family and friends accept the fact that their loved one has a disease that cannot be overcome. Furthermore the fact that the life of the patient will probably end within a short period of time, however the hospice provides a care for the patient and supportive care for the family. Within the hospice there is no attempt made to prolong life and no medications are provided to fight the disease. ‘Pain control and patient comfort are primary’. Hospices are in operation through a 24-hour period seven days a week. Although not all the hospices have the same quality of care and it may vary, but nevertheless the outcome is ‘the enhancement of the significance of the life of the terminally ill elder and the easing of stress among care-givers’ that also helps the dying patient. A primary responsibility is to honour God while we live. ‘Contemporary arguments for the “right” to assistance to commit suicide are based on ideas of each individual’s autonomy over his or her life.’ Christian’s cannot claim such an independence Christians acknowledge that they belong to God. Therefore, a decision for someone to take their own life is to be in denial that one belongs to God.In addition to the point just raised is that God does not abandon people in times of suffering. Christians show their faith in God’s love by trusting in God’s concerns for them. A decision to end their life would appear to be a cessation of that trust. The pain of the ill patient may seem unbearable, life might seem no longer worth living and the suffering may appear beyond unbearable. But suffering calls upon people to trust God even in the valley of the shadow of death. This pain and torment calls on people to let God, and not suffering, take their own life to result in their death.One of the most common excuses offered for physician-assisted suicide is the stated desire that “I never want to become a burden to my family.” Yet, the care given to the sick by those who love them that makes suffering possible to tolerate. A person’s willingness to endure his or her suffering is an expression of their trust in God. It is also an expression of trust that those who love them will care for them even in difficult times. Christians usually have a willingness to go on even in the midst of suffering that is if their faith in God is resolute.There isn’t a Christian reply that will speak for everyone but concerning whether people should be allowed to take their own lives. However, many Christians would use these three morals to this issue:* Human life is a gift from God; it is sacred and has dignity.* Death is an event in life, not necessarily the end of life.* God does not present to us any situation that we cannot handle. God supports people in suffering. ‘To actively seek an end to one’s life would represent a lack of trust in God’s promise.’Christians believe that the human body is intended to house the spirit. Most Christian churches believe that to abuse the body and the mind is destructive and goes against God’s purpose for his children.’The Bible says that we were created in the image of God and given the gift of life, many Christians believe that we do not have the right to interfere with when life ends, or to prevent the beginning of a new life.’Exodus 20:13″You shall not murder”The scripture of 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says:”Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honour God with your body.”If you live in a building that was owned by someone else, you try to live by the owner’s rules, right? Christians believe that our body belongs to God, so you should do as He asks and that’s not to kill anyone including ourselves. The passage above shows that God lives within every single one of us. Christians understand life as a scared gift, and so many Christians see euthanasia as wrong.’Roman Catholics are the most strongly opposed to euthanasia. They believe that anything which intentionally causes death is ‘a grave violation of the law of God.’But on the other hand people may argue:* At times a terminal illness is so painful that it causes life to be an unbearable burden; death can represent a relief of intolerable pain.* Each person has freedom over his or her own life. Persons whose quality of life is non-existent should have the right to decide to commit suicide, and to seek assistance if necessary.’According to Christian teaching, suffering especially suffering during the last moments of life, has a special place in God’s saving plan’ it is in truth a sharing in Christ’s passion and a union with the redeeming sacrifice which He offered in obedience to the Father’s will. Therefore a non-Christian must not be surprised if some Christians prefer to cut down on their use of painkillers, in order to accept voluntarily at least a part of their sufferings and thus associate themselves in a conscious way with the sufferings of Christ crucified (Mt. 27:32). Christian morals do suggest for the majority of sick people to use medicines capable of relieving or suppressing pain, even though these may cause secondary effect semi-consciousness and reduced lucidity.A question that appears between politics often is whether individuals should be allowed to choose suicide, or whether they should be forced to follow the theological beliefs of the dominant religion.Life is a gift of God, and on the other hand death is inevitable, therefore, without in any way hurrying the time of our death, we should be able to accept it with full responsibility and dignity. It is true that death marks the end of our earthly existence, but at the same time it opens the door to immortal life. So everyone must prepare themselves for this event in the light of human values, and Christians even more so in the light of faith.What Should Doctors Do?Doctors face the hardest challenge on whether to accept the patients wishes to stop the use of life support machinery. Again the medical profession has been caught in between the of the government and religious groups against society. Government and religious groups as well as the medical profession come to an agreement that doctors are not binding to use “extraordinary means” to lengthen the life of a terminally ill person. What empowers “extraordinary means” is often left to the patient’s family to decide on what to do.’As medical expertise and technology continue to spread throughout the world, moral, ethical, social, and legal health issues arise, each related, in one way or another, to the prolongation of life and to the ways in which many individuals, particularly the elderly, end their lives.’ Today, life can be held uncertainly by the use of machinery. Modern technological has advanced and things such as the use of respirators and artificial kidney machines, have made it achievable to keep people alive for long periods of time even when they are permanently brain damaged or unconscious. People, who believe in euthanasia, assume that prolonging life using a machine may cause great suffering to the patient and family. Furthermore, ‘certain life-support systems are so expensive that the financial implications have to be considered.’There are some cases, which occur when patients who have suffered severe brain damage and have entered a state of persistent vegetative, in which they are not unaware of their surroundings and are kept alive for years. The attempt made to prolong life has produced instances where terminally ill patients suffer horrific deaths despite efforts to control pain.People who are against the doctor-assisted death argue that, if doctors are given the right to assist in the ending of their patients’ lives, patients may end up not trusting their own doctors. They say that legalisation of doctor-assisted death would destroy the relationship between the physician and patient. I totally agree with that point and the euthanasia may be used as a shield to murder people in the future. Instead of the doctor being seen as a person fighting against diseases and saving lives. They will no longer be viewed as one dedicated to the fighting of disease and the preserving of life. By allowing doctors to perform euthanasia the doctor will have a second role as the one who causes death, which would cover up the doctor’s original role. Euthanasia must be decided on a patient choice and has to be reviewed by the doctor. They will only be permitted to become involved if invited to do so by the patient. If a doctor were to recommend euthanasia it could turn into a violation of physician responsibility which could result in suspension.’Some opponents of euthanasia argue that the increasing success that doctors have had in transplanting human organs might lead to abuse of the practice of euthanasia. That is, they fear that doctors may violate the rights of the dying donor in order to help preserve the life of an organ recipient. This is one area where proper legal safeguards are clearly required.’I have discovered that many doctors on their graduation take a Hippocratic oath that prescribes beneficence and specifically outlaws medically assisted death. It something along the lines of ‘to please no one will I prescribe a deadly drug, nor give advice which may cause his death.’Some people against euthanasia argue that the increasing success that doctors have had in the past about organ transplants might lead to abuse of the practice of euthanasia. They fear that doctors may bend the rules a little and the rights of the dying donor in order to help preserve the life of an organ recipient. This is one aspect where the restrictions and the law are enforced to the fullest. In this modern day patients in many countries are now entitled to decide on whether they want passive euthanasia; that is, to make free and informed choices to refuse life support. With regard to active euthanasia, in the Netherlands, long known for one of the most liberal euthanasia policies. . It has resulted in a greater emphasis on the patients responsibility, when the patients themselves carry out the final act, often by taking an overdose of drugs that have been prescribed by a doctor, in what is termed “medically assisted suicide”. ‘This is aimed at relieving in part the emotional stress and moral burden experienced by doctors who assist in such cases.’In conclusion, for those who work in the medical profession, they should neglect no means of making all their skill available to the sick and dying. But they should also remember how much more essential it is to assist them with the comfort of unlimited compassion and heartfelt charity. Such service to people is also service to Christ the Lord, who said: “As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” (Mt. 25:40).ConclusionWhat concerns us in this issue is the freedom and empowering of an individual, most commonly the terminally ill patients, so that, in accordance with their beliefs, their values, their associations, and their commitments, they may feel free to choose the way they will die. Their choice must be an revised ad thought over thoroughly which rests on the physician sharing all aspects of the development of their illness or disease, the presentation of all alternative approaches to the termination of life, and the patients’ right to choose the way in which they will die.It is quite clear as life goes on the world will accumulate more terminally ill patients and the issue of euthanasia will become more of a concern. My suggestion and conclusion is that allow God, to take over the situation. If a certain person doesn’t believe in God then, try to fight the disease with whatever God they worship or follow. Euthanasia shouldn’t be accepted in my opinion and I see it as a easy way out of life.

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