PHI 413 Topic 4 DQ 2
DQ: Reflect on the analysis of the sin of suicide and, thus, euthanasia from the topic readings
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.
Every single one of us, in my view, has value. Humans were created in God’s likeness and are tasked with carrying out God’s plan for the planet. Everything happens for a reason, and I think that God has a purpose for everyone of us, even if we don’t recognize it or comprehend it. Individuals, in my opinion, have the right to make their own decisions. Abortion, in my opinion, may be justified in extreme circumstances, such as when the mother’s life is endangered by pregnancy difficulties or when the pregnancy is the consequence of rape. I believe that when two consenting adults participate in an action that is known to result in pregnancy and that pregnancy occurs, the result should be acknowledged and supported as a matter of principle and duty. My position, on the other hand, cannot supersede an individual’s right to self-determination, therefore I am pro-choice. Because they have an influence on human life, bioethical concerns, abortion, designer babies, and stem cell research are all contentious. The issue is whether these things are good or destructive to God’s creation of human life. I support stem cell research because studies show that this science has the potential to heal or cure a wide range of ailments. When the issue of “designer babies” is discussed in the context of reducing the possibility of birth malformations and disabilities, it looks to be a promising one. On the other side, prospective parents are emotionally and financially committed in this therapy. Because of this investment and medical science’s expanding ability to modify gender and other physical features, we risk enticing people into fantasizing about and attempting to make the “ideal kid”. Therefore, I don’t support” designer babies”.
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
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.
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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
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.”
Praying now for peace over you all.
Jan 22, 2022, 12:53 AM(edited)
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], paragraph 2280:
Everyone is responsible for his life before God, who has given it to him. It is God who remains the sovereign Master
of life. We are obliged to accept life gratefully and preserve it for his honor and the salvation of our souls. We are
stewards, not owners, of the life God has entrusted to us. It is not ours to dispose of. (p. 552)
Suicide in the Christian worldview is viewed as sinful and scandalous when the purpose of serving as an example (CCC para. 2282, p. 552). However, depending on the circumstances, suicide by the individuals suffering from “grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering or torture can diminish the responsibility of one committing suicide” (CCC, para 2282, p.552). Furthermore, those individuals who commit suicide should not give up hope at the prospect of eternal salvation because “God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance” (CCC, para. 2283, p. 552). Euthanasia, either by an active intent of “mercy killing” or passive intent in the lack of initiation of medical care to prevent death or purposefully withholding medical treatments and/or interventions, is also viewed by Christian and Judaism worldviews as sinful and highly immoral. My views align with the Christian worldview on euthanasia. I view a person’s actual intent to cause harm to another as wrong and against the “Father of Medicine,” Hippocrates of Kos, who practice to “do no harm.” My spiritual views of suicide- I find it incredibly heartbreaking when individuals attempt or succeed at suicide due to mental health conditions. I also feel part of the issue stems from the healthcare industry lacking the infrastructure and resources (Nationally and Globally) to render adequate care for all individuals suffering from a mental health condition. As a result, many people suffer, suffer alone, and are lost without help, guidance, and support. We as humans do not do enough for each other. For individuals who have a terminal medical condition, I respect their wishes; however, my views align with the American Nurses Association in providing “respectful, compassionate, and ethically responsible care at the end of life, including palliative care, so that patients do not seek assisted suicide as an alternative” (Frey & Blackwell 2018, para. 10).
I can see that you believe that euthanasia and assisted suicide are wrong from your viewpoint. I don’t think that you proved that it is morally unacceptable, I think that you proved that it can be difficult for families to come to an agreement on this topic. I think that it is morally unacceptable for some. I don’t think that it is wrong if you have it in your end of life care and things reach a point that you no longer have quality of life. I think that not all healthcare providers can find peace with this decision but I do think that there can be healthcare workers that find this to be a good option for some. Just like some giving methotrexate for ectopic pregnancies, instead of letting the fetus grow outside of the uterus. This is necessary because an ectopic pregnancy can be fatal. Healthcare workers see the benefits and are able to implement this in their care. Ectopic pregnancy affects 1–2% of pregnancies and is the leading cause of maternal death in the first trimester, responsible for 6% of all maternal mortality (Davenport, 2022).
Davenport, M. J., Lindquist, A., Brownfoot, F., Pritchard, N., Tong, S., & Hastie, R. (2022). Time to resolution of tubal ectopic pregnancy following methotrexate treatment: A retrospective cohort study. PLoS ONE, 17(5), 1–8. https://doi-org.lopes.idm.oclc.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0268741