Euthanasia and Sanctity of Life: Are they Opposites?

What if euthanasia was a life affirming act that acknowledged the sanctity of life, and our role as creators, the agents of God’s hands? No one waits for God to stop a bleeding wound if you can stop it yourself. Part of the gift of life is our responsibility to act responsibly towards it. No one waits for God to impregnate- we do that job very well most of the time and have “fun” in the process of creation. Few believe that they need the permission of God to use contraception.

I am not endorsing euthanasia nor am I discussing the legality of it- I simply want to consider the moral and ethical question as to whether the sanctity of life and euthanasia are opposites.  In my poem, The Life Force, I describe how an arched tree that shot its branches towards the sun, affirmed to me that the most evident purpose of life is to live it: we walk to heaven without legs if we must.  At the same time, I cannot ignore the fact that we are  part of God, and at the very least agents of God.  What gives us the moral right, as agents of God, to use our intelligence to heal someone, and at times keep them alive beyond what “pure nature” would have permitted, but not use the same intelligence and responsibility to decide to end suffering?

I can imagine a scenario where someone acknowledges and believes in the sanctity of life, and in God, who may view euthanasia as a responsible act in the progression of life towards the path of life.

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2 thoughts on “Euthanasia and Sanctity of Life: Are they Opposites?

  1. Euthanasia was a big topic for me even when it came to life as small as my goldfish’s. It accidentally lost its fins because of the filter, and was left in the bottom of the tank unable to move. I wanted to take its life so badly as if would have to die in pain and hunger. My father insisted that we cannot be “more merciful” than God and He will take it when it’s time.

    What we humans fail to understand sometimes is that pain is not always “bad”. The purpose of life is not to ignore pain, since being happy does not necessarily mean a life free of trouble. Animals prey on animals, taking life in agony. Nature itself is a grand murder. Why should we not apply this to human life?

    If you pull the plug on someone, million others will still suffer and end – in pain, until death gives them relief.

    • Thank you for your comment. I agree that we cannot be more merciful than God- but who is God? Is it an external force independent of us which shows Mercy or are we agents of that Mercy. I will quote a beautiful verse from the Bible because that is a book that many readers are familiar with, although the Quran and Bhagvad Gita have similar messages. In
      Mathew 25:35, God says: For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40“The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ The point is that we are dispensers of God’s mercy as well as receivers of it.

      I agree with you that pain is necessary to grow spiritually. But I am also mindful of the fact that I may be denying God’s Mercy to someone in the name of “my faith” if I tell them they must bear excruciating pain out of a principle of God’s Mercy which mostly does not operate independent of us.

      At the same time I recognize that there is something holy and mystical about life. I would hang on to it. But I also know that every person has a breaking point- I do not have the moral certainty to tell someone that pain is always good and there is no scope for the Mercy of God, the Sanctity of Life, and Euthanasia to function in syncronity.

      I have lived a life of many joys as well as suffering- I am at peace with myself and God. I do not know much about you or how old you are. May be your youth has something to teach me and us.

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