Moral Issues and Euthanasia

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Moral Issues and Euthanasia The Hospice Movement represents one Christian response to the problem of pain and suffering. Explain how a hospice works and what it seeks to achieve. A hospice is a home or hospital aimed at relieving the physical and emotional suffering of the dying. The word 'hospice' dates back to the Middle Ages, when it meant a place of 'charitable refuge offering rest and refreshment to pilgrims and travellers'. These hospices were run by monks and nuns and were free, as they are today. The most famous original hospice, the hospice of St. Bernard, still functions as a shelter for travellers passing over the Pennine Alps. The definition of a place of rest for travellers is very appropriate as nowadays hospices are for those reaching the end of their life journey. In Paul's letter to the Philippians 4:12-14 he says: 'I am content, whether I am full or hungry, whether I have too much or too little. I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me.' Many Christians may think that they are strong enough to act as Paul suggests but often when pain hits they need help to act like this. This help can be found at a hospice. The first recognised hospice for the terminally ill was set up by Dame Cicely Saunders in 1967 and was devoted solely to the needs of the dying. It was called St. Christopher's Hospice, London. St Christopher's have made many medical breakthroughs in palliative care: pain relief and comfort, and has helped people to understand the needs of the dying better. A patient who is terminally ill in a hospital intensive care unit could suffer greatly through painful life-... ... middle of paper ... ...y the lives of terminally ill people but also their carers and families, volunteers, and health professionals. Often those near death have very positive outlook on life. Nurses and doctors often visit hospices to learn about palliative care and many believe that the lessons learned in hospices about pain control and emotional and spiritual support should be applied throughout the health service to all dying people. After studying all the work done by hospices it is hard to understand why it is not. It many be said that we cannot afford this kind of care but surely that means the state considers the infirm and old useless just as may fear. Luckily there are still wonderful people who work in hospices for the dying to rely on who live by God's greatest commandment, 'Love your neighbour as yourself' Leviticus 19:18.
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