by Yessica Herrera
Euthanasia is the act of killing or permitting the death of sick or injured individuals with the intention of relieving their suffering. People use different terms to describe euthanasia, including “mercy killing,” “assisted suicide,” and “physician-assisted suicide.”
There are two forms of euthanasia; passive and active. Passive is when an ill person asks for the withdrawal of a medicine that they need in order to live, such as oxygen. Active euthanasia is when a doctor prescribes painkilling drugs knowing that a terminally ill patient may choose to overdose on them, or die and when a doctor causes the death of an ill patient by giving a lethal injection.
Euthanasia can be voluntary or involuntary. Voluntary is when it is done with the consent of the dying person. Involuntary is when euthanasia is performed without an individual’s consent, instead it is approved by a family member. With the consent of the patient it is considered suicide; without it, it is homicide.
“Euthanasia gives a positive connotation to the act. It is an attempt to have a happy or painless death. The basic reason is to avoid suffering, usually of a physical nature,” says Geisler (Geisler, 165).
Whether euthanasia is performed as passive or active, voluntary or involuntary, it will always be wrong. As a Christian I have many reasons to think of euthanasia as inhumane and unethical. I believe that euthanasia denies God’s Sovereignty, violates the Hippocratic Oath, and no matter what people try to call it, it is murder.
Above any other reason, euthanasia goes against the fact that God is the Author and Giver of life and as humans, His creations, we have no right to destroy it. Active and passive euthanasia are both a direct human cause of death. As a Christian, this is morally unacceptable and this act is condemned by the Bible. It the book of Genesis, God is the Creator and owner of all things (Gen. 1:1). In Scriptures we see God telling Moses, “I put to death and I bring to life,… and no one can deliver out of my hands” (Deut. 32:39) . If God said so himself, as clear as water, who are we to think that we can go above the Creator of the universe and decide when it’s time for someone’s life to be over? In the book, “Christian Ethics,” Geisler emphasizes his point:
“God alone is sovereign over life. And since human life is in his image he has placed a social sanction upon it. God alone created human life, and God alone has the right to take an innocent life. Euthanasia is an attempt to preempt God of his sovereign right over human life” (Geisler, 172)
We are in a time where people want to be in control of everything they do. We have gone so low to the point where we want to decide when life should end. Koop in “The Right to Live; The Right to Die says, “Our society, having lost its understanding of the sanctity of human life, is pushing the medical profession into assuming one of God’s prerogatives, namely, deciding what life shall be born and when life should end” (Koop, 114).
When doctors graduate from medical school, many speak the words of a pledge well known as the Hippocratic Oath. Even though the oath was written many years ago “ many physicians still consider the Hippocratic Oath a basic statement of the medical profession’s ethics and duties” (Yount, 25). Basically, this oath states, "I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect (Euthanasia violates moral codes and Hippocratic Oath). Therefore, when a doctor agrees to perform either passive or active euthanasia, or even gives them the options, they are violating the Hippocratic Oath. As a doctor their duty is to help their patients get the medications they need in order to get better. Euthanasia gives everyone the easy way out, including doctors. If doctors have the right to end a person’s life, they won’t give as much effort to