Question on comments:
Reflect on the analysis of the sin of suicide and thus, euthanasia from the topic readings. Do you agree? Why or why not? Refer to the lecture and topic readings in your response.
As Christians, the concept of ending one’s own life or the life of another is morally wrong. God and only God decides when our lives should end. The action of committing suicide can be viewed as a selfish act by someone who is having difficulties in life and feels that there is no other escape from that pain. Often suicide is committed by people who are not of a rational mind. People may be depressed or emotionally ill and the only way to escape that pain is by ending their life. Committing suicide is a sinful act but a loving God judges us based on the kind of person we are not on individual wrongs. Committing suicide in a rational state of mind projects a desire to be finite like our creator and is judged differently than someone who is emotionally ill. Repenting the sin of suicide does not exist in this life but God ultimately makes the judgements and suicide although a sin, does not necessarily determine the direction of the one’s soul (Meilaender, 2013). My neighbor committed suicide this past summer in her home. I was so angry at her for taking her life especially in the home that she shared with her husband and children. Not only did she take her own life, but she took part of their life with her. I have reflected on this for a while and it is not up to me to judge her actions. Her pain was something that I cannot understand. Her judgement is between her and God. I can only pray for peace for her and her family.
Christians should not partake in any type of human euthanasia. God determines the end of our life not humans. Illness and disease should be allowed to take their course with human intervention only allowed to alleviate pain and suffering. We as humans cannot execute the lordship or authority over another’s life that is up to our creator. Caring for a dying person is our duty as healthcare providers but we should never hasten the ending of a life (Meilaender, 2013). Treating someone’s pain at the end of life can hasten death in the fact that the side effects of pain medication diminish the drive to breath. As providers administering pain medication with the intent to alleviate pain is not the same as the intent to end someone’s life by euthanasia.
Meilaender, G. (2013). Bioethics a primer for christians (3rded.). Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B Eerdmans Publishing Company. Retrieved from https://viewer.gcu.edu/UXWB22
“Christians have held that suicide is morally wrong because they have seen in it a contradiction of our nature as creatures” (Meilaender, 2013, p. 59). According to Bioethics: A Primer for Christians, our life is not ours to possess, that by committing suicide we are expressing a desire to play Creator. However, Meilaender goes on to state that suicide does not condemn the individual committing it – which goes against the long held Christian belief that suicide is a sin. Meilaender argues, “God judges persons, not only individual deeds, and the moment in one’s life when a sinful deed occurs does not determine one’s fate” (Meilaender, 2013, p. 59-60).
“The Disciples of Christ, also known as the Christian Church, has no creed and gives its congregation complete autonomy in their doctrine” (Zavada, 2014). This means that beliefs vary from church to church and member to member. I was raised as a Disciple of Christ (Christian Church), went my entire life to Catholic school, My beliefs fall into the category of what Meilaender argues against, that the act of suicide is a sin when performed by a rational human being of sound mind. If you consider suicide a sin, such as myself, then just like the Fall in the Christian Biblical Narrative, when we sin, we break Shalom and estrange ourselves from God.
Meilaender, G. (2013). Bioethics: A Primer for Christians (3rd ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Zavada, J. (2014, December 12). What the Disciples of Christ Believe and Practice. Retrieved January 27, 2017, from http://christianity.about.com/od/Disciples-Of-Christ/a/Disciples-Of-Christ-Beliefs.htm