There are several arguments against the practice of physician assisted suicide. At the heart of the deontological argument is that we, as moral agents are obligated to obey God. One argument is a belief that physician assisted suicide is a violation of the sixth of the Ten Commandments “Thou shalt not kill” in Exodus 20:13 which testifies to the sanctity of life. Some argue that murder is not the same as physician assisted suicide. Murder deprives a person 5
of life and all that it offers and physician assisted suicide is described as a compassionate response to someone is already dying and wants to hasten the process. Regardless according to God murder is always wrong no matter what the circumstances are. Paul Badham used the argument that Jesus broke the law to heal on the Sabbath however he healed a man he didn’t perform a mercy killing. Another argument is that “central to the Christian gospel is the belief that suffering can be redemptive”. As Christians we celebrate Good Friday every year and remember the price that was paid with the blood of Christ for our sins. The Vatican’s Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith contains a Declaration on Euthanasia that says “suffering is not pointless. The Catholic church holds that suffering especially suffering during the last moments of life, has a special place in God’s saving plan; it is in fact a sharing in Christ’s passion and a union with the redeeming sacrifice which he offered in obedience to the Father’s will.” As Christians we can take comfort during these times with scripture that remind us of God promises like Deuteronomy 31:6-8 that says “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble for the Lord your God is the one that goes with you. He will not fail or forsake you. And the Lord is the one who goes ahead of you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” We should not be afraid of death we are promised life after death in Christ. Pope Francis who is considered more liberal than his predecessors even makes statements about physician assisted suicide saying it’s “false compassion and a result of our throwaway culture that devalues and dehumanizes the sick”. As stated above, there is redemptive purpose and meaning that can be found in our suffering just as Christ himself found on the cross. A strong teleological argument can be made here as well since as moral agents it’s our desire to “reach an end or goal or to discover our purpose which could be revealed during the process of dying. Genesis describes the intimate and active role that God played in creating humans in Genesis 2:7 when he breathes life into man and then he became a living being. If God played 6
such an intimate role during the creation of life one is compelled to think that he plays an equally or even more intimate role during death. 1Corinthians 3:16-17 says “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple” which many argue would discourage taking one’s life through physician assisted suicide because our bodies are not our own, they belong to God and should be used to glorify him always. Job says “The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away” which is also
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