Euthanasia A Religious Aspect Essay, Research Paper
The practice of euthanasia has caused much controversy in today s society. Sickness and disease have been with man since the beginning of life, and in biblical time death was probably inevitable. In today s medical world, technology has given man the means to prolong an individual s time of existence. The idea with prolonging someone s life can bring up the issue of extending the individual s suffering. On a religious aspect, the implementation of euthanasia to end a person s pain can be looked at as interfering with God s divine plan. God will never give a person any more than they can handle. With this in mind, people should understand that God always gives support to people in suffering circumstances.
From birth to death, the Bible views life a sacred experience; and life should be looked upon as a gift from God. Because the bible teaches us that man was created in the image of God, and that God is Lord over life and death, euthanasia can be viewed as being biblically incorrect. Paul reminds us in I Corinthians 6:19,20:
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
A person that wants to end their life because they are unwilling to face the pain and misery in death are not just destroying their own spirit but also the spirit of the Lord. There is no glory for God in euthanasia.
To suffer is to understand and become closer to God. In 2 Corinthians 1:5,7 Paul states:
For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comforts .
One should rely on God even when facing agonizing situations. Euthanasia is both immoral and unnecessary. II Corinthians 12:9,10 says:
But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness, Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ s power may rest on me. That is why in Christ s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong .
Moreover, death should not be decided by man, it should be God s decision. Because God is the reason for creation, God then holds the decision as to when creation will be destroyed. Life is a gift from God, Placing it under His sovereignty (Wennberg pgs. 95,87). Life should be looked at as a precious thing, not only to God but also to man. We must look at each individual as being here for a purpose, God s purpose . With God s purpose in mind, life should not be terminated prematurely before one has filled their purpose. By choosing to leave through suidcide questions God s reasoning for placing us here on earth. Letting one s life be carried out to its natural end can give that individual time to find God, and to affirm their life purpose (Wennberg pg. 95,87).
In addition, people must also reject the notion that everything must be done to save a person s life at any cost. Paul speaks in II Corinthians 5:6, Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord . II Corinthians 5:8 states, We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. It is unnecessary to be so tied to earthly life that extensive operations are performed in order to extend life . Philippians 1:21 states,
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain . In relation to a dying patient or loved one, people should provide comfort and spiritual care to those that are suffering. Galatians 6:2 says, Carry each other s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ .
It is easily seen that within a biblical aspect euthanasia is not the right answer to a terminally ill person s life. The human body belongs to God and God should make the decision on how to dispose of it. Euthanasia can only be called one thing, murder. People should follow Christ s example by caring for the ill and not killing them. Only God has the right to decide when death is necessary. If euthanasia is practices, God s divine plan is put into jeopardy. Using the Bible and the teachings of Paul as a guide through life, one can face any questionable dilemma that life present.
Holy Bible, New International Version.
Wennberg, Robert M. Terminal Choices. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989