Round 2: should Euthanasia be legal?
In this round I plan on looking at the religious aspect of things. I will be looking into the different points of view from different religions. I want to take a closer look at the most common religions, their view and their reasoning behind either being for or against euthanasia. Along with how religion could conflict with ones wishes.
Death is a big part of all religions. They all have some explanation of why it happens, what to do when it happens and they provide a way of coping with it. For lots of religions they believe that their god has reasoning to why someone has died. Therefore, for humans to take it upon themselves to decide to be euthanized is wrong, because for them, it is god who gave them life, it is god who makes the decision when you will pass.(2)(3)
Some main religions and churches that are against euthanasia are:
- Southern Baptist Convention
- Jehovah’s witnesses
- Assemblies of God
- Episcopal church
- Roman catholic
The main reasoning behind the protest against is that life is sacred. They believe that god is the only one that has the right to decide what happens because he is the one that put us here. They believe that we don’t have the right to interfere with gods plans, therefor euthanasia goes against it completely. (2)(3)(4)
For Christians, they believe that all life is sacred and worthwhile, so to ask for euthanasia is saying that your life is not worthless. We don’t have the power to judge someone’s or yourselves life. (1)
As Buddhists are taught that one’s life is of great importance
Do to the Buddhists teaching that it’s wrong for an individual to takes one’s life, they are against euthanasia for most scenarios, however they do believe that it is not necessary to go to crazy lengths to preserve a life. For example, if someone is on life support and without it, would not be there, then euthanasia is acceptable (3). Meaning in so many other words “let nature take its course” and what should be, will.
For Islam, euthanasia is simply not an option. Human life must be appreciated and respected at all times. No matter how much you are suffering, it is regarded as wrong to be euthanized. As Endurance and patience are given a lot of value in Islam, euthanasia does not coincide with that, because it is not following through with your journey. (1)
In the position of the Catholic Church, “Nothing and no one can in any way permit the killing of an innocent human being”. No matter what the scenario is or who it is, it is “an offense against the dignity of the human person, a crime against life, and an attack on humanity.” They clearly state that euthanasia is wrong and unexceptable.
One church however is pro euthanasia: Unitarian Universalist Association. (1)(2)(3)
They believe in death with dignity. (7) Which just goes to show that people’s thought on what that means is so varied. One group believes that that means living through the pain and going till end, and for this group it means something else.
“Guided by our belief as Unitarian Universalists that human life has inherent dignity, which may be compromised when life is extended beyond the will or ability of a person to sustain that dignity; and believing that it is every person's inviolable right to determine in advance the course of action to be taken in the event that there is no reasonable expectation of recovery from extreme physical or mental disability...” (7)
The death with dignity movement is also very interesting. For example in Oregon and Canada these two sites (sources 5 and 8) are both fighting for the right of death with dignity, for “your right to die in peace”. They both have information about it, places where you can donate, ways to access medical assistance and more. I thought it was really interesting that there is such a controversy for and against it.
These are pictures of the two sites:
My own thoughts:
I really enjoyed this round of research because before, I was very bias because I myself am not religious or have any rules of life that I follow. So for me I didn’t understand why this would be seen as a bad thing. But after learning about the different points of view and beliefs I can really understand this big argument. I had planned on looking at how it conflicts with ones wishes, but I realized after doing this research, that if you are practicing a religion then you believe in it. Therefore if your religion does not believe in it, then there won’t be a conflict because you will also believe in the reasons why you should not be euthanized. Overall it was a really interesting round.
I hope you guys all found it interesting as well!
For my next round I will be looking at who would facilitate euthanasia. You would assume that doctors would be the ones too, but a doctor could refuse to if they disagree with it possibly due to their religion belief. Another point to consider is when different doctors would feel comfortable assisting someone take their life… For example if someone has three months to live, but is in pain, opposed to someone with mental illness who is not necessarily going to die in the next couple years, but is unable to communicate and is not lucid.