Do you think euthanasia should be available to human beings?
I recently ran across a very interesting article where they ask different faith groups about end of life issues and what their faith group would have to offer non-religious people. The answers basically tried to answer whether or not euthanasia should be allowed, and predictably, many of the faith groups said that it shouldn’t be – not because they had good reasons to dissalow it, but because life is a gift from God so therefore it’s not ours to end if we so wish.
Here’s a sample of the answers.
Rabbi: “Religious people are more likely to appreciate life as a gift from God, over which they exercise trusteeship. Life is theirs to nurture, but it is not theirs to terminate.”
Rev. JOHN COUNSELL: “If there is an eternal purpose to our existence, if we are not just the product of millions of biological accidents, then this evidence of the divine that we call “life,” deserves the awe, respect and protection that people who understand it for what it is advocate. The Nazis promoted the idea that some forms of human life were not sacred and were not worth protecting. I believe that kind of reasoning is pure evil, no matter how politically correct or socially acceptable it presents itself.”
Muslim: “The believer in life after death will have a much broader point of view. He/She will be prepared to make sacrifices in the expectation of a reward in the Hereafter. He will not cheat and rob because he knows he will never escape the final judgment. He will always be on the lookout for some investment for greater dividends in the eternal world.”
Atheist Humanist: “Most maddening are attempts to infringe on our right to die with dignity. A god who doesn’t give a rat’s behind about saving a child shouldn’t dare to care how we decide to end our terminal and painful existence.
No thanks, ye of overreaching faith, while you obsess over post-life salvation that may never occur, we view this precious life is miraculous enough, providing sufficient meaning and purpose, not only for ourselves but also for those we love.”
Catholic: “The Church holds human life to be sacred because it is a gift from God. It teaches that every human life is valuable with an inherent dignity and worth from the moment of conception. Because human life has an inherent value and dignity that distinguishes it from other forms of life, we treat people differently than how we treat suffering animals.
Many pet owners and farmers have had the difficult task of putting down a suffering animal. We do this in part because an animal cannot find any meaning in its suffering nor can it think beyond the present moment. But human beings are different and we can see that asking someone to kill us to end our suffering has profound ramifications for how we as a society see and value human life.”
Personally, I think it should be allowed. I don’t think anyone should be forced to end a life or be forced to have their life ended. I think it should be a personal choice that is made when the person is of sound mind. I should be able to choose when and how I will leave this life, and if someone else wants to use God belief to make their decisions, that’s fine by me. I don’t believe in God or an afterlife so it has no ramifications on me and other peoples faith shouldn’t be the deciding factor (or even a factor) on my end of life decisions.
It’s crazy to me that we allow the option to put our animals down when their quality of life is next to zero, but we don’t allow our fellow human beings and loved ones the same level of courtesy. If a religious person believes that their life is governed by God and they don’t have the right to end it, then that is up to them. I would support their right to make such a decision, but I feel I should be granted the same level of respect. I’m a thinking, feeling human being and deserve the right to make my own decisions, especially when it comes to something as important as how I leave this life. No religion has the right to tell me how I should die.
However, I think there would have to be clear legislation to go along with any euthanasia law so that it can’t be manipulated by greedy family members who want to speed up the process of death without the persons consent. There would have to be no loop holes in the law, and it would have to be carefully crafted.
What do you think?
And if you belong to one of the denominations listed above from the article, do you agree with their assessment?
Thanks for reading!
Note: If you enjoy these types of topics, reading the entirety of the linked article is worthwhile. I didn’t use them all because of size restraints. I didn’t want this article to be too long.