Euthanasia Essay - Religious Views on Assisted Suicide

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Official Religious Views on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

This essay is dedicated to the expression of the various official views of religious bodies within our nation. Most major denominations are represented. These religions have long been the custodians of the truth, serving to check the erratic and unpredictable tendencies of political, judicial and social bodies which would have Americans killing off their elderly and handicapped.

The National Association of Evangelicals believe that human beings are made in the image of God and are, therefore, of inestimable worth. God has given people the highest dignity of all creation. Such human dignity prohibits euthanasia, that is actively causing a person's death.

Is it moral to withdraw a life-support system which is believed to be an inappropriate extension of the dying process? The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) believes that in cases where patients are terminally ill, death appears imminent and treatment offers no medical hope for a cure, it is morally appropriate to request the withdrawal of life-support systems, allowing natural death to occur. In such cases, every effort should be made to keep the patient free of pain and suffering, with emotional and spiritual support being provided until the patient dies. The National Association of evangelicals believes that in cases where extensive brain injury has occurred and there is clear medical indication that the patient has suffered brain death (permanent unconscious state), no medical treatment can reverse the process. Removal of any extraordinary life-support system at this time is morally appropriate and allows the dying process to proceed.(National)

The Union of Orthodox...

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...rson cannot be legitimately interrupted. The use of painkillers to alleviate the sufferings of the dying, even at the risk of shortening their days, can be morally in conformity with human dignity if death is not willed as either an end or a means, but only foreseen and tolerated as inevitable. Palliative care is a special form of disinterested charity. As such it should be encouraged. (Catechism)

WORKS CITED:

National Association of Evangelicals of America

http://www.euthanasia.com/evangel.html

Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America

http://www.ou.org/public/statements/1999/nate43.htm

Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

http://www.euthanasia.com/missouri.html

Reformed Church in America

http://www.euthanasia.com/lakes.html

Catechism of the Catholic Church

http://www.euthanasia.com/catech.html

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