The Ethical Issue Of Euthanasia

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Euthanasia is the intentional, premature ending of life. Euthanasia, as opposed to suicide, is a painless death administered by a doctor to a patient in a medical setting, often for those who are physically or mentally ill. Ethical means relating to ethics, the discipline dealing with what is good and what is bad. Euthanasia is an ethical issue because it concerns the value we put on human life. There is debate between those for and against euthanasia as one must decide whether humans can judge the worth of their own lives and if humans have the right to authority over our life and death. In New Zealand, there are no laws which explicitly mention euthanasia, however it is clear in the 1961 Bill of Rights that euthanasia is illegal. This bill states that all have a 'duty to provide the necessities of life', as well as a 'duty to avoid omissions dangerous to life'. For example, if a person is unable to care for themselves, their caregivers should not withhold support needed for them to continue living. The bill states that…show more content…
In the Catholic Catechism, it states that “God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994, para. 2258, 1257). ‘Lord of life’ means that only God has authority to end a life. For a human to choose to end a life, even if it is their own, denies God’s authority. This summarises the Catholic response to euthanasia, that humans do not have the right to end life as they choose, because only God has that ultimate authority. Assuming that we have this power to decide the best time for us to die denies God’s sovereignty, and we believe ourselves to be Lord over our own lives. This denies the third commandment: “You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus
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