Death is one of the hardest things that religion has to deal with and they provide comfort and answers for those who are facing death so it’s not surprising that religions have very strong views on euthanasia especially Christianity. Why is the Roman Catholic Church one of the most active organisations in opposing euthanasia? Most Christians are against euthanasia, their opinions differ slightly from the different groups of Christianity but overall they all oppose euthanasia.
Firstly all life is god given and life and death are part of the process God has created for us and we should respect them, therefore, no human has the right to take another humans life even if the victim wishes to die. Life is sacred and valuable as it is made in God’s image which means that each individual is able to see what is good and to want what is good. The destiny of each person is to share in God’s life and as they develop the abilities to distinguish between good and bad then they are living closer to God’s life of love.
This is obviously a good thing and should be preserved and to propose euthanasia is giving an individual the right to judge that the current life of someone is not worthwhile. No-one has the right to value anyone, even themselves as worthless. Christians also believe that the time of death is significantly spiritual and should not be disrupted as it would interrupt the process of the spirit moving towards God.
They also view all life as equal and that human dignity and value is not measure by mobility or achievements in life and this to them means that patients in a vegetative state are still human beings and their intrinsic value remains the same as anyone else’s. Patients who are old, sick, mentally or physically handicapped or near the end of their earthly life still have the same value as any other human being. Because of this it would be wrong to think that they would be better off dead as they are equal.
Christians feel that the argument against quality of life is irrelevant as there is end of life care such as the hospice movement which is led by Christian Dame Cicely Saunders. This means that terminally ill patients can be cared for in a hospice where they can have a good quality of life where their pain is controlled and are given emotional and spiritual support. However, some Christians do not agree with some pain killers as they may relieve suffering but they also shorten the patient’s life.
The Roman Catholic Church doesn’t accept that humans have a right to die as it is a rejection of God’s absolute sovereignty over life and death. However it does regard refusing extremely aggressive medical treatment to prolong a patient’s life as acceptable. The Baptist Union are opposed to Euthanasia as well, but they do believe that when a person is brain dead or where medical opinion states that there is no hope of recovery that it is okay to withdraw treatment or turn off life support. Overall the majority of Christians oppose euthanasia but different sections of Christianity have slightly different opinions.