All Human Life Is Sacred
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All Human life is sacred: Is there any place for euthanasia and abortion within Christianity or Buddhism? All human life is sacred, and therefore the topics of euthanasia and abortion are both controversial issues that are commonly discussed around the world today. As such they are talked about very carefully and it is safe to assume that different people and different religions will hold different views on these very controversial issues. I hope to discuss the views of the different religions on these subjects and compare the views of the two religions.
Abortion: “Premature expulsion of the foetus from the womb either done by operation or by medication” The definition is self explanatory, as the views go they are quite different and varied. Most sects of Christianity are against the concept of abortion; the only groups who are in favour of it are some humanitarian sects.
The catholic truth society is strongly against the idea of abortion: ‘We have been created by the almighty God in his own image and likeness. No pregnancy is unplanned because no baby can be conceived unless almighty God intends that conception and has willed that particular unique and completely individual new person into existence. What has actually happened in our society is that clever arguments has convinced those with no anchor of belief in God to cling to, that merciless slaughter of unborn babies is morally unjustifiable, and even essential for the happiness of the individual and good of the society’ The catholic trust believes that any baby is due to the will of god and therefore is completely unacceptable to kill that baby, ethically and morally wrong.
Life Campaign activist believe that: ‘Since human life begin at conception i.e. fertilisation, and since all human life should be equally protected by the law from conception to natural death, whether or not human being concerned is wanted or handicapped it follows that destruction of unborn life is always wrong.’ This is the view of the National Abortion Campaign: ‘The decision to terminate pregnancy is so important that it can only be made by the person most involved- the women. Women must always have a choice and never have the decision forced upon them. Free abortion facilities should on the NHS for every woman who needs them. We believe that the right of women to control their own fertility is a fundamental human right. Women will not be able to take a full and equal part in the society when we can all decide for ourselves whether and when to have children.’ Humanists believe that there will always be a certain amount of unplanned pregnancies and that the decision should always rest on the mother who has to be pregnant.
Buddhists believe that new life begins at conception, so abortion would be going against the first precept. As with most Buddhist rules, there are no absolute yes or no’s, instead it is always based upon the circumstances. An abortion may lead to a person having there attitude towards life to be changed. But sometimes an abortion may be necessary to stop further suffering. As always the decision is up to the couple involved and it is completely dependant upon the situation, and at the end of the day a sometimes painful decision may have to be made and those who made it must be ready to face the consequences.
Euthanasia: ‘Easy death’ or ‘Mercy killing’ The idea of euthanasia is the act of purposefully killing someone to ease their pain/suffering, to let them die in dignity rather than letting them live for a little time not in control of their actions or in some other way that does not reflect their life or they way they would like to be portrayed.
Voluntary involves a request by the dying patient or their legal representative.
Passive involves, doing nothing to prevent death – allowing someone to die.
Positive involves taking deliberate action to cause a death.
Active involves giving a lethal dose of toxicant to cause death.
Euthanasia is illegal all around the world except in the state of Oregon in the U.S.A. The majority of religions are against euthanasia and Christians are against it because they believe human beings all have a special place in gods heart.
“For you created my inmost being; you (God) knit me together in my mother’s womb” (psalm 139) So in Christianity they have the hospice movement which aims to prevent suffering by helping these patients. The three aims they have are: • To relieve pain.
• To enable patients and families to face up to death.
• To care for emotional needs of the relatives.
Buddhism is against euthanasia as it is the destruction of life which is against the first precept. But euthanasia in some cases can be the only way to stop further suffering. Buddhists are more in favour of the idea of the hospice movement as a positive alternative to euthanasia. But they also believe that in certain extreme circumstances aided suicide may be considered a good solution as long as the people involved are fully aware of what they are doing.
I believe that everyone has the right to die when they wish and if they baby is still within the mother I believe it is her choice all the way until the child is actually born out in the world and takes its first breath. But many different religions are bound to have different opinions on both subjects. I don’t believe it is right to either give birth to an unwanted child or prolong the life of someone who is suffering or has no control of their bodily functions any more and relies solely on others. But these controversial issues need a lot of proper discussing to really work out the best way to combat both problems, but until then it is ever going to be lingering about on everybody’s minds, whether it is right or wrong.