The word Euthanasia stems from the Greek, phrase ‘euthanatos’, which in turn means a gentle and easy death. In the modern world, Euthanasia refers to when a person choses to have their life ended, usually due to the fact that they are suffering or are terminally ill from for example cancer or motor neurone disease. It is in some ways the humane way of ending someone’s life. Euthanasia is only legal in three countries, they are Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg, however Euthanasia is debated widely by many countries into whether it should be legalised or not. Euthanasia is illegal in Britain. To kill another person deliberately is murder or manslaughter, even if the other person asks you to kill them and anyone doing so could potentially face 14 years in prison. In the countries that it is legal there are two types of Euthanasia; voluntary and involuntary. I will now be talking about a Christian response on the issue and any alternative arguments.
Voluntary euthanasia is when the person concerned asks them to aid and assist them to die. The person may persuade another person to help them end their life, or in some cases write a living will which explains their wishes to someone if they were in such a situation that they were unable to communicate to them. They also may refuse to have the needed medical treatment to keep them alive. Involuntary euthanasia is effectively the opposite of voluntary euthanasia. Involuntary euthanasia comes into play when a certain individual is no longer able to make a decision. An example of this would be in a coma or if the person in question is too young (a very young baby). This decision to allow the ending of the person’s life is therefore taken by relatives or medical experts. There is also the case were the person may want to live but his or her life is ended anyway. This usually is classed as murder but not always in rare circumstances.
The Catholic Church and The Church of England teach that euthanasia is morally wrong and should remain illegal. They along with many other Christians say and believe in the sixth commandment, ‘You shall not murder’, Exodus 20:13. Catholics apply this belief to everybody however old or ill they happen to be and that all life is valuable. The late Pope John Paul II said that people should always choose life over death in any circumstance. ‘Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit’, I Corinthians 6:19. These few denominations along with many others are against the law that make euthanasia legal in any country. Christians say that only God owns life – and therefore humans should not be allowed to choose to end their life.
However some may argue that the person who is suffering is in unbearable pain meaning no good quality of life is possible and that ending your life is the best option. Also others can say that human beings have the right to die how and when they want to. Many people think that each person has the right to control is or her body and life and so should be able to determine at what time, in what way and by whose hand he or she will die.
Behind this lies the idea that human beings should be as free as possible and that unnecessary restraints on human rights are a bad thing.
However, many Christians believe that suffering and pain are part of life and not a reason to choose to end your life. They believe that God should be trusted life and that God loves all humans in any way, even if they are terminally ill. We see this in the bible when God has said: ‘Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” Hebrew 13:5. Some Christians believe that humans should die with dignity and they should die naturally, this also is a way of showing complete loyalty and faith in God. Christian denominations support the hospice movement that were developed for people to die in dignity. They are places for