REFLECT ON THE ANLYSIS OF THE SIN OF SUICIDE AND THUS, EUTHANASIA FROM THE TOPIC READINGS? PHI 413
Topic 4 DQ 2
Reflect on the analysis of the sin of suicide and, thus, euthanasia from the topic readings. Do you agree? Why or why not? Refer to the lecture and topic readings in your response.
Suicide, the act of taking one’s life, and euthanasia, having someone assist in taking one’s life, is morally wrong and a sin in the Christian worldview. Euthanasia is further defined as causing or hastening the death of a patient to end pain and suffering. Euthanasia can be either active by administering lethal doses of drugs to end a life intentionally or passive by withholding medical treatment that would prolong life. Additionally, euthanasia can be voluntary by requesting someone end their life, involuntary when a patient refuses to have their life ended, and the request is not honored, or nonvoluntary when a patient’s life is ended, and their wishes are not known. Physician-assisted suicide is a voluntary/active euthanasia. The patient asks for assistance in ending their life, and the physician makes available a lethal dose of drugs to end the life.
As a Christian, I do not support suicide or euthanasia. Both are condemned in the Bible, and “it is a failure to faithfully acknowledge the sovereignty of God over life, death and even suffering at the end of life” (Hoehner, 2020). God determines the days of our life and the time of death. To commit suicide or request euthanasia is to “abandon one’s stewardship over Gods gift of life” (Hoehner, 2020).
I do not agree with the arguments of autonomy and dignity to justify euthanasia as they are fundamentally wrong.
I believe a patient has a right to make decisions over their healthcare but when those decisions cross the line of ethical principles, they must be denied. However, this denial does not mean the loss of dignity. Human dignity is based on being created in the image of God, and all humans have inherent worth.
As healthcare providers, we are morally bound by our commitments to prevent harm and do no harm to our patients. Physician-assisted suicide is ‘fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as a healer” (White, 2019) and their commitment to the Hippocratic oath to do no harm. For nurses, euthanasia is inconsistent with the core commitments of the nursing profession. The goal and meaning of medicine is to provide comfort and care to our patients; suicide is not a healing act, nor is it comfort and care. (Hoehner, 2020).
Hoehner, P. J. (2020). Practicing Dignity: An Introduction to Christian Values and Decision Making in Health Care. https://lc.gcumedia.com/phi413v/practicing-dignity-an-introduction-to-christian-values-and-decision-making-in-health-care/v1.1/#/chapter/4
White, F. J. (2019). AMA says “no” to physician-assisted suicide. Real Clear Health. https://www.realclearhealth.com/articles/2019/07/05/ama_says_no_to_physician_assisted_suicide_110923.html
Dennise De Pascale
replied toStacy Morris
Jan 23, 2022, 11:17 PM
- Replies to Stacy Morris
Hi Stacy, great points. I agree with you. In a Christian worldview, suicide and euthanasia is taking someone’s life; therefore, they are both a sin. Life is a gift from God, the creator of life. God created humankind in the image of God with a purpose, thus we human beings have no rights to decide when to take it away for any reason. Instead, we must honor God’s will and obey him. If the burden is too much that we cannot handle, it is an opportunity we have, to get close to him and pray for strength and guidance to accomplish that purpose.
Hoehner, P. J. (2020). Death, dying, and grief. In Grand Canyon University [GCU]. Practicing Dignity: An introduction to Christian values and decision making in healthcare. (ch.4). https://lc.gcumedia.com/phi413v/practicing-dignity-an-introduction-to-christian-values-and-decision-making-in-health-care/v1.1/#/chapter/4
Jan 23, 2022, 8:39 AM
This was perhaps our most difficult topic for discussion. Many in our class have been hurt by the tragedy of suicide. Thank you for your contribution to our conversation.
In addition to the views expressed in the class lecture for this week, I would simply add that the details and circumstances that lead a person to such a tragic decision are of such varying intensity that a view of its significance should be approached with careful consideration of the emotional, spiritual, and physical conditions at that time. The “greatest darkness,” as Dr. Zacharias refers to it, varies in such intensity from person to person that it is impossible for one to fully grasp the pain of another at any given moment.
Nevertheless, in their fullest definition, suicide and euthanasia are symptomatic of humanity’s quest to alienate from our Creator and exert our own autonomy over His sovereignty. As we discussed at the beginning of this course, pain is a reality of living, and the God who is sovereign over all things is also providentially wise and merciful. To this we must acknowledge with the Apostle Paul, “and we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). “All things” must, by implication, include the moments of our “greatest darkness.”