Religions and Euthanasia

Death in most religions is seen as a sacred part of life. Life is seen as precious and sacred, so when it comes to a strong topic like euthanasia and wanting to end life in a peaceful manner is seen as taboo as this is suicide, which is strongly opposed by many religions.

religionesSource: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7a/RELIGIONES.png

Most common reasons are (BBC, 2009):

God has forbidden it: all religions with a supreme God in their scriptures that say ‘you must not kill’ or ‘you must not kill innocent human beings’

Human life is sacred: human lives are special because God created them and we should not interfere with God’s plans by shortening human lives

The sanctity of life: human life is sacred. “God gives people life, so only God has the right to take it away.”

For Buddhism, for example, they follow the teachings of Buddha and how to live a virtuous life by paying respect to those who has given life to you, do not harm and always forgive, and the body is a valuable gift.

As I grew up with Buddhism teachings within my family, I was taught to believe that Buddha did not create humans, but your parents did. All the thoughts of suicide and self-harm, within ‘my family’ this is a disrespect to your parents. Your life is seen as a symbolism of your parents’ love and hardships to raise you, so instead of returning this to your parents by living a respectable and honourable life. Suicide is ultimately a rejection of your parents’ hardships with raising you up.

The concept of reincarnation, I know many teachings of Buddhism is different for everyone, but as I was brought up I was taught that what you do in the current life you will have to pay for in the next life.

My parents valued life and believed that you should not cause and ‘purpose’ harm on yourself. When I asked them about euthanasia and the concept of having the choice to die painlessly and with dignity. My parents both agreed that euthanasia should exist for those who “have an incurable disease and no treatment can save them” if a person choose to take their life when they still have a chance to live then that’s “a disrespectful deed to your parents who created you”.  My mother states that “Life is precious. But when the patient is reaching the end of their life, it is, not better, but much suitable to let them have the final say on how they want to die. Let them have that peace.”

 

Read more:

BBC, 2009, ‘Euthanasia and Assisted Dying’, BBC, <http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/euthanasia/religion/religion.shtml&gt;, date accessed 06/10/16

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