Describe the teachings of Christianity about the sanctity of life in relation to Euthanasia.

Essay by english_summer May 2004

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Euthanasia comes from the Greek meaning 'easy death'. Formally known as 'mercy killing' it is the act of making or helping someone to die rather than letting him or her die naturally, because if they die naturally they will be in considerable pain or will have an extremely poor quality of life.

There are several ways it can be classified:

Voluntary Euthanasia meaning the dying patient or their legal representative requests euthanasia.

Passive Euthanasia meaning allowing someone to die without doing anything to prevent his or her death.

Positive Euthanasia meaning taking deliberate action to cause a death for example withdrawing treatment.

Active Euthanasia meaning giving a lethal injection or using some other method to actively bring about a death.

Active Euthanasia is illegal throughout the world apart from in the state of Oregon, USA where there is a law allowing doctors to prescribe lethal drugs for euthanasia. In the Netherlands euthanasia is widely practised although it is still illegal.

The sanctity of Life is a Christian belief, that God made all life and as everything to do with God is sacred and holy all life is sacred. Many Christians see this as meaning humans should not kill other humans for whatever reason, as this would be a deliberate attack on God. The Christians who believe this might say that God has decreed that a certain person should live and so they should live until they die a natural death, not be killed prematurely by euthanasia.

There are many different denominations of Christianity, and so they all have varying views on issues like euthanasia. Even within denominations there will be a variety of views, although most Christians will tend to agree with the main view of their denomination.

The Old Testament mentions euthanasia twice, and in both cases it is...