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Essay: Euthanasia – arguments for and against, legislation, Catholic church (draft)

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  • Subject area(s): Religious studies and Theology essays
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  • Published: March 18, 2021*
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  • Euthanasia - arguments for and against, legislation, Catholic church (draft)
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Define your chosen issue

My chosen issue is the issue of Euthanasia, known as mercy killing, is the act of ending someone’s life if they are in pain or become a burden to their relatives. Be more explicit

Outline an argument for and an argument against the issue, from a secular perspective

Euthanasia allows the ill or elderly to die with dignity and with peace as their quality of life is taken into account. Instead of being forced to live a painful and undignified remainder of life, the patient should be allowed to have the suffering taken away

Euthanasia can also be used as a way to take advantage of the elderly or disabled for personal gain. Some examples of this would be money and compensation. As the patient will most likely not be mentally sound, this is a very likely situation to occur.

Describe recent legislative developments in Australian around this issue

During the last 30 years, there have been several developments throughout Australia regarding Euthanasia and medically assisted suicide. In 1995, the Northern Territory legalised Euthanasia, by the rights of the terminally ill act 1995. This extremely controversial act was nullified in 1997 by the federal Parliament of Australia which passed the Euthanasia Laws Act 1997 and is now illegal again. The act was argued to be considered murder by many of the Northern Territory community and the rest of Australia. On the 5th of December 2017, Victoria became the most recent state to legalise Euthanasia and medically assisted suicide. The recent laws have been implemented under extremely strict guidelines and have attracted criticism from throughout Australia. The Voluntary Assisted Dying bill 2017 allows the terminally ill to request a lethal injection in order to end their life. This allowed those to end suffering sooner than having it prolonged.

Explain the Catholic Church’s stance on the chosen issue

The Catholic church has stated time and time again that it disapproves of Euthanasia as they believe that only God should have the power to give and take away life. This is often shown by the Catholic church that they believe all the arguments for Euthanasia can be passed off as myths. For example, the reason for Euthanasia is for a death with dignity is false as our dignity is not dependent on our usefulness or health, but simply on our humanity. Our society should be judged by how well we care for the sick and vulnerable. Everyone should be loved, supported and cared for until they die. There is nothing truly dignified about being killed or assisted in suicide, even when the motive is compassion for suffering. The Australian catholic church believes that because suicide is frowned upon, but Euthanasia will be promoted, double standards will be formed giving some the thought that suicide is a dignifiable death.

The Catholic church often uses the quote from Psalm 49:7-8

“Truly no man can ransom another man’s life”.

They use this quote to tell us that we are all created equal and do not have the right to put ourselves above others. This also tells us that we do not have the right to place ourselves above another and decide that persons fate. Another quote that is often used is from Ex 20:13,

“you shall not murder”.

This is used to tell us that only God has the right to give and take life away. other references other than Scripture – such as CC or Encyclicals?

“Moral relativism is a problem in relation to reverence for life issues”. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement

I agree with the statement of Moral relativism is a problem in relation to reverence for life issues as moral relativism and reverence for life are contradicting statements. Moral relativism is the individual mindset of a person and what they believe, where reverence for life is taking in all opinions of laws and religions and the belief that all living things are equal. Moral relativism causes a problem in reverence for life issues as it clouds one’s judgement and often carries a more selfish intent. Pope Benedict XVI has said that moral relativism is dangerous as it tends to produce frustration and disregard of life when personal moral values aren’t reached. Christianity teaches us that every person was made in the image of God and that he made us in his image and our bodies are therefore sacred. We do not have the right to make moral choices that go against Gods commandments.

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