Presentation on theme: "Suicide and Euthanasia 自殺與安樂死 1 Corinthians 3:16,17 “Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man."— Presentation transcript:
Suicide and Euthanasia 自殺與安樂死
1 Corinthians 3:16,17 “Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy and that is what you are.” 1 Corinthians 6:19,20 “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”
Terminal Illness 絕症 Many definitions 1.Oregon’s assisted suicide law defines "terminal" as a condition which will "within reasonable medical judgment, produce death within six months." A prognosis of six month to live is also the basis upon which patients qualify for hospice coverage under Medicare 2.The Dutch who describe "terminal" as a "concrete expectancy of death
in the Netherlands, unbearable suffering of either a physical or mental nature has been the factor
Issues of terminal illness a)Medical care-ordinary means-according to circumstances of persons, times, and culture; extraordinary means-take more than the strictly necessary steps to preserve life b)Quality of life – mental impairment (vegetation state, senile), physical impairment (hemiplegia, ventilator dependence), chronic pain c)Value of life
Most people in North America die what may be called a bad death -patients died in pain or loss of dignity.patients died in pain Euthanasia 安樂死 Greek language: eu means "good" and thanatos means "death". the intentional termination of life by another at the explicit request of the person who dies. 病患者特意請求別人幫 助終結自己的生命
many means: Passive Euthanasia 被動 Active Euthanasia 主動 voluntary passive euthanasia Involuntary Euthanasia(mercy killing)
Passive Euthanasia: Hastening the death of a person by altering some form of support and letting nature take its course. 停止一些醫療行動, 使病者能加快自 然死亡 For example: 1.Removing life support equipment (e.g. turning off a respirator) or 2.Stopping medical procedures, medications etc., or 3.Stopping food and water and allowing the person to dehydrate or starve to death.
4.Not delivering CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) and allowing a person, whose heart has stopped, to die (DNR or DNI). 5.give a patient large doses of morphine to control pain, in spite of the likelihood that the pain-killer will suppress respiration and cause death earlier performed on terminally ill, suffering persons so that natural death will occur sooner. It is also done on persons in a Persistent Vegetative State
Active Euthanasia (Assisted suicide): This involves causing the death of a person through a direct action, in response to a request from that person,e.g. inject controlled substances (heroin) into the patient, thus causing his death. voluntary passive euthanasia A)hook patients up to a machine that delivered measured doses of medications, but only after the patient pushed a button to initiate the sequence. B)provided carbon monoxide and a face mask so that his patient could initiate the flow of gas
Involuntary Euthanasia (mercy killing): This term is used by some to describe the killing of a person who has not explicitly requested aid in dying. This is most often done to patients who are in a Persistent Vegetative State and will probably never recover consciousness.
Why is it an issue? Legal issues: Throughout North America, committing suicide or attempting to commit suicide is no longer a criminal offense. However, helping another person commit suicide is a criminal act. One exception is the state of Oregon which allows people who are terminally ill and in intractable pain to get a lethal prescription from their physician. This is called "Physician Assisted Suicide" or PAS.
Reasons for legalizing Euthanasia 1.Unbearable pain 2.Right to commit suicide People should not be forced to stay alive
Christian beliefs : Deliberate ending of a people’s life is always wrong, that include: Suicide and euthanasia Sanctity of life - Life is the gift of God and is thus only to be taken by God
Is there an example of assisted suicide in the Bible? 2 Samuel 1:1-16 There is an account of reported voluntary euthanasia (in which one person asks another to kill them - involving King Saul and an Amalekite. The unnamed Amalekite tells King David that he killed Saul at Saul’s request, as Saul was wounded in battle. David’s response is to kill the Amalekite for touching God’s anointed. If euthanasia were a beneficial practice, David would have rewarded the Amalekite, not sentenced him to death.
How should Christians respond to the fear (or reality) of pain and suffering? Deuteronomy 31:6,8 “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble..., for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.... And the Lord is the one who goes ahead of you.... Do not fear, or be dismayed.”
Romans 8:32, 35,37 “He who did not spare His own son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?... Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?... But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.” Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me...”
How should Christians respond to personal challenges, disabilities and infirmities? 2 Corinthians 12:9 “And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.’” Philippians 4:11,13,19 “... for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am...I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.... And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
Does suffering have spiritual value? Can God be glorified in how we respond to suffering? Corinthians 4:16-18 “ Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. ”
But, it’s my body. Don’t I have a right to choose when I die? 1 Corinthians 3:16,17 “Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy and that is what you are.” 1 Corinthians 6:19,20 “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”
Is it acceptable for a Christian, who is terminally ill, to refuse available technology in order to let nature take its course and bring about a natural death? Yes. Ecclesiastes 3:1,2 “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven — a time to give birth, and a time to die.” Psalm 116:15 “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones.” Psalm 139:16 “And in Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me.”
Catholic Theologians' application of the above to feeding done by tube and/or the use of a respirator: There are two schools of thought: a)Some will ask the question: Is it permissible to starve someone to death? -- If the question is put that way, the answer will be: No. They will add: food is always an ordinary means, even if the way of giving it is extraordinary.
b)If there is no hope at all of recovery and the patient is unconscious and unable to take food by himself/herself, is the family obliged to provide this means for a long period, and is the sick one obliged to submit to it? Put this way, many solid theologians will say: It is not required. The burden is too great, all out of proportion to the hope of good to be obtained. As the Sacred Congregation pointed out in the above quotation, we consider not only ordinary vs extraordinary, but also the proportionate results, compared to the difficulty, expense, and care of providing it.
Statement of U. S. Bishops, checked by Cardinal Ratzinger (from: National Catholic Reporter, April 10, 1992, a Resource Paper, released April 2 ):"nutrition and hydration 'must not be withdrawn in order to cause death', yet they 'may be withdrawn if they offer no reasonable hope of sustaining life, or pose excessive risks or burdens. '"
Isn’t opposition to euthanasia and assisted suicide just an attempt to impose religious beliefs on others? The debate over euthanasia and assisted suicide is about public policy and the law. The fact that the religious convictions of some people parallel what has been long-standing public policy does not disqualify them from taking a stand on an issue.
In Washington state, where an attempt to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide by voter initiative in 1991 failed, polls taken within days of the vote indicated that fewer than ten percent of those who opposed the measure had done so for religious reasons.(62) Voter initiatives have also failed in California,(63), Michigan(64) and Maine.(65) All failed following significant organized opposition from a coalition of groups including medical societies, nursing groups, hospice associations, civil rights groups and major state newspapers.
Do the acts of assisted suicide and euthanasia deny God the opportunity to demonstrate His healing power? Yes. Matthew 8:16 “And when evening had come, they brought to Him (Jesus) many who were demon- possessed; and he cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill.” James 5:16 “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”
Evangelical View Advance directive decisions which are made to limit or discontinue terminal care must be fenced in by a Biblical ethic founded on the sanctity of life and then should proceed to consider the following:
-terminal care decisions must be free of any intention to cause death; -they must never be driven solely to end suffering; -they must never be used to eliminate suffering by eliminating the sufferer; -they must address the moral issue of who is entrusted with treatment decisions for another;
they cannot rely on quality of life determinations alone and must remain as clear as possible in the differentiation between terminal and imminent. Such a distinction is essential so as not to lead to an early abandonment of medical interventions and should leave the door open later to the ministry of terminal care appropriate when attempts at cure are exhausted. Vaguely stated advance directives (i.e., no heroic care) must never be permitted to lead to either benign neglect or the absence of compassion.
Advance directives may represent the ultimate reduction of agonizing patient and family choice necessarily leading to either life or death. For the Christian, these terminal choices must valuate life as singularly unique since human life is created in the image of God (Gen. 9:5-6; Ps. 8:3-5; 100:3; 139:3ff; Acts 17:25). Other "important mandates (e.g., personal freedom, an end to suffering) must yield when they stand in the way of the sustenance of life." 17