Christian Positions

Roger Crook captures the Christian position on mercy killing by presenting the inquiry in footings of how we care for the death. What do we make for the individual who is comatose with no hope of recovery How do we care for the terminally sick individual whose leftover yearss are progressively agonisingly painful? The Human being is non merely a biological entity but a individual. in the image of God and Christ. Death marks the terminal of a personhood in this life.

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Biblical instructions prohibit killing ; the Sixth Commandment states ‘You shall non kill’ – both in footings of slaying and nonvoluntary manslaughter. Life should non be violated. while the prohibition of killing seems to be a moral absolute of Christianity there are exclusions for warfare and self-defense. There are illustrations in the Bible where the forfeit of life is considered virtuous ‘Greater love has no adult male than this: That a adult male lay down his life for his friends’ The Bible does non forbid all pickings of life in all fortunes. although Christians have traditionally considered taking one’s ain life to be incorrect

Roman Catholic Positions

At the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. the Roman Catholic Church condemned offenses once more life ‘such as any type of slaying. race murder. abortion. mercy killing or willful suicide’ Life is sacred and a gift from God. ‘which they are called upon to continue and do fruitful’ To take a life opposes God’s love for that individual. and rejects the responsibility of a individual to populate life harmonizing to God’s program. In the same declaration. the Roman Catholic Church made it clear that it was incorrect to inquire person for an aided decease. and that an person can non accept to such a decease: “For it is a inquiry of the misdemeanor of the Godhead jurisprudence. an offense against the self-respect of the human individual. a offense against life. and an onslaught on humanity’ The sort of liberty that John Stuart Mill argues for is rejected by the Roman Catholic Church. We merely don’t have that freedom. because we are made by God for the intent of loving God.

A distinguishable statement is made about agony and its function in Christian divinity. Jesus died in hurting on the cross. and human agony at the terminal of life connects us to the agony that Jesus felt. This does non intend that Christians should decline to take analgesics or should actively seek hurting. but it does allow enduring the possibility of holding a positive consequence on the person. It provides the alteration that he or she may turn closer to God. Thomas Wood writes that enduring can look meaningless. is awful and is ne’er sought. it is non the worst evil – it can be an juncture for religious growing and it can hold moral effects on those in attending. It can hold significance in the context of a life lived in religion.

Protestant Positions


Joseph Fletcher is an active advocator of the patient’s ‘right to de’ on the footing that Christian religion accents love for one’s fellow homo being. and that decease is non the terminal for Christians. Acts of kindness may encompass mercy killing. for case when a human being is deceasing in torment. as a response to human demand. Fletcher’s statement for mercy killing is basically based around four points: 1. The quality of life is to be valued over biological life 2. Death is a friend to person with a enfeebling unwellness 3. All medical intercessions place human will against nature and extraordinary agencies 4. Particular equipment and unneeded surgery are non morally required for a individual who is terminally sick Peoples are prepared to ‘face decease and accept decease as preferred to uninterrupted agony for the patient and the family’ There is no differentiation between our response to a agony animate being or human. There is no difference between inactive and active mercy killing as the consequence is the same.


Represented by Arthur Dyck – he thinks an act of kindness can ensue in retreating intervention but non making something actively to convey about decease. Permiting some Acts of the Apostless of active mercy killing. such as in the instance of badly
disable kids. seems to be making a category of human existences who are treated as less valued. He argues that a mentally retarded kid is non deceasing. is non in hurting an can non take to decease. “Since violent death is by and large incorrect it should be kept to as narrow a scope of exclusions as possible’ While clemency is a moral duty. violent death is ne’er as clemency. The term clemency violent death is a contradiction and when we use the term to warrant the violent death of the handicapped or the mentally unqualified. we fail to care for the most destitute in the community. which is a cardinal moral responsibility. Dyck’s position is in maintaining with traditional Christian idea. and most Christian theologists. which holds that active. direct aid in the pickings of human life is prohibited.

Whereas voluntary mercy killing. froward by a rational. lawfully competent individual. has ben permitted by some theologists. active mercy killing in which the individual plays no function. has been condemned by the bulk of Christian minds. The ethical attacks to the job taken by Christians sometimes reflect a move from general rules to specific applications ( the holiness of life to the prohibition of mercy killing ) and besides at times the concern about the iniquitous nature of human existences and their undependability at doing good determinations through the usage of ‘right reason’

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