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Euthanasia or Mercy-killing
The word euthanasia is defined as: “The act or practice of killing individuals (as persons or domestic animals) that are hopelessly sick or injured for reasons of mercy” (Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, 1979). Mercy killing has not only gained a foothold in certain areas of Europe, but also here in the United States. The subject has become so commonplace that an Internet search will result in 355,000 hits. These sites are dedicated to both sides of this most serious discussion. One site, which I strongly recommend is: http://www.euthanasia.com/. This site is one of many devoted to combating the evils of euthanasia. Anyone interested in an objective in-depth analysis of the subject would do well to examine this site The site is divided into the following sections: The basics, Key articles, polls, and books and videos on assisted suicide.
The following are a few of the specific questions, which are answered by contributors Rita Marker and Kathi Hamlon: “Where are euthanasia and assisted suicide legal?” “What is the difference between euthanasia and assisted suicide?” “Doesn’t modern technology keep people alive who would have died in the past?” “Should people be forced to stay alive?” “Does the government have the right to make people suffer?” “But shouldn’t people have the right to commit suicide?” And, “Isn’t ‘kill’ too strong a word for euthanasia and assisted suicide?” It is incumbent upon all concerned to familiarize themselves with the various aspects of this subject.
Let’s sweep aside the smokescreen of sentimentality and get down to sound reasoning. Euthanasia stands condemned on several counts, some moral, some material or physical.
Euthanasia is outright murder on the part of the one who administers the drug or other means that will bring about death.
Euthanasia is suicide on the part of the person who requests or consents to any means of shortening or destroying life.
God and God alone has the direct right to end a human life. The Almighty has definitively condemned murder and suicide. In euthanasia, a doctor or a group of doctors, the patient or his relatives, take to themselves this right of God. Here is the fundamental reason that euthanasia is wrong from the moral aspect.
Euthanasia not only fails to take into account man’s supernatural life, it actually denies it. It disregards the value of redemptive pain and suffering; it rejects the concept of merit gained by suffering; it entirely ignores the word of God. “If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Lk 9:23).
Euthanasia helps no one and solves no problems. Rather it creates problems. For the patient who is mortally ill, there will be the fear that the doctor will prematurely end his life. Many elderly people in Scandinavian countries, who fall ill, travel for treatment to countries where the practice of euthanasia still is illegal. It creates a problem for the doctor who has a conscience. He will be unwilling to grant the request of the patient or the relatives, should they desire mercy killing. It also creates a societal problem, especially in our courts in the form of expensive, tax-paid investigations and prosecutions.
The practice of killing off the incurable, the insane, the crippled, and the defective, stands condemned by medical science. Here is a telling point in any argument with the material-minded proponents of putting people to death. Who is to say that a disease is incurable? Within the last few generations, medical science has made enormous progress in curing many diseases. Thousands lie in our cemeteries from diseases that medical science has since found remedies. Kill off the so-called incurable, the so-called fatally diseased, and the so-called insane, and researchers in medical science will have no subject to work on, no basis for their observations.
The public approval and practice of Euthanasia will gradually and eventually lead us to the slaughter of the sick and insane. During the Third Reich a number of doctors and public health officials in positions of authority, following an authorization decreed by Adolf Hitler in August 1939, directly implemented a policy of extermination of certain segments of the population who were diagnosed as suffering from severe mental and/or physical dysfunction. These people were considered undesirable because they did not contribute to the economic well-being of the country. Life became so cheaper that it was a short step to the gristly experiments conducted in concentration camps. The loss of respect for the sanctity of human life was the slippery slope that led Germany down the road to ultimate degradation and destruction.
Who can forget the poem by Rev. Martin Niemoeller (1892-1984), one of the most respected Protestant leaders in Germany, and a concentration camp victim of the Nazis:
they came for the communists, and I did not speak out--
A few moments thought proves that Euthanasia is against God’s law and also against the law of nature. It is immoral and unscientific. I would also like to point out that it is un-American.
As a nation, we believe in God. We believe that all our blessings come from our creator. We repeat with conviction the words of our Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, and that among these are the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
The right to life was given by God and can only be directly taken away by God.
© 2003 – Victor R. Claveau
Part or all of this article may be reproduced without obtaining permission as long as the author is cited.
"Not only is suicide a sin, it is the sin.
It is the ultimate and absolute evil,
the refusal to take an interest in existence;
the refusal to take the oath of loyalty to life.
The man who kills a man, kills a man.
The man who kills himself, kills all men;
as far as he is concerned, he wipes out the world."
-G. K. Chesterton