|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Euthanasia Christianity Ethical dilemma Social issue|
In life, people come across various events, which prompt them or their close family members to make critical decisions. Usually, such decisions come with two consequences. The first one is positive as it adds value to the recipient of choice. The second decision often comes with adverse impacts, which could affect the life of the affected individual, and to some extent, their close family members. Even as these decisions are made, people take time to deliberate on them before going ahead with the execution. In their deliberations, individuals get influenced by their beliefs depending on their inclination with regards to religious or social beliefs (Lowis, 2015). Such decisions seek to solve an ethical dilemma, which presents two options whose consequences depend on the chosen path. The case study of euthanasia will be argued through a comparison of the Christian view with the atheist perspective.
This case revolves around a young girl known as Joni. When she was out for swimming with her friends, she misjudged the depth and hit the pool floor, causing her vertebrae to break. This condition could not get treated to full recovery. As a result, she had her large segment of the body to get paralyzed to the level of making her life tough to live. She could not manage to carry herself through various processes that an average person would do with ease. Consequently, she became a burden to the level of contemplating euthanasia.
Based on the above case, the dilemma presents two options. The first one is for Joni's wish to be euthanized be allowed by facilitating her to die so that she can stop the suffering. The second option is for her wish to be denied so that she lives a full life even as she experiences pain until when she will die without any human intervention.
In this case, the core beliefs of Christianity will be applied in a bid to solve the dilemma. According to the Christian teachings, values and beliefs, no human being is supposed to be killed under any circumstance (Lowis, 2015). The life of a person belongs to God since he is the creator of all creatures. Therefore, no other person with whichever reason has the right to take away the life of another individual. God asks us not to kill as revealed in the Ten Commandments that he gave to Moses. "Thou shalt not kill." (Exodus 20:13, King James Version).
Christianity virtues advocate for people to love and care for one another. When individuals love one another, they will be ready to take care of each other even under challenging conditions (Feinberg & Feinberg, 2010). Jesus, who is the pillar of Christianity, gave Christians one principal commandment, which is for every person to love their neighbor as they love themselves. "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Mark: 12:31, King James Version). In this case, a neighbor is anyone who needs assistance. In this case, Joni needs help and care, but not to be killed in the guise of ending her suffering.
It is evident that the wish by Joni to get euthanized does not resonate well with the teachings and beliefs of Christianity. Therefore, her requests should not be granted. Instead, they should talk to her in a polite and friendly way explaining why she cannot be euthanized. She has to understand that Christianity advocates for love and care. Therefore, she should get assured that amid her suffering, she will get all the assistance and care that she desires. She is not a burden to the family since the family loves her just as it did before she got paralyzed. She should also understand that killing her through euthanasia is a sin before God. By taking the above approach, his family will get God's blessings for loving their 'neighbor' in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ. Besides, the family will evade God's wrath for sticking with His commandment of not killing.
As a consequence of not procuring euthanasia to Joni, she could stay with the condition and continue enduring the pain, which, in her opinion, could end if she was granted her wish to be euthanized. On the other hand, denying her desire to be euthanized could elongate her life on earth. The fact that she gets biblical reassurances that God loves her and her family is with her despite the status of health, she will slowly overcome the depression to lead a joyful life despite her nature. Christians believe in Miracles of Jesus who healed many people during his existence on earth. Therefore, continuous prayers and treatment could see her recover from her paralyzed health condition. The contrast is that euthanizing her could not help but end her life with no chance for recovery. Besides, sticking to the commandments of God and Jesus attracts blessings to both Joni and his family.
An atheist would make a different decision from the dilemma. Normally, atheism does not consider the ethical settings of society. People who conform to atheism consider the situation from their reasoning as opposed to the tenets of morality (Zuckerman, 2009). Besides, they prefer the legal way of solving dilemmas since they believe that the law is more important than the Christian teachings and beliefs (Paterson, 2012). While the Christian world view could prevent euthanasia, the atheism view would be to look at Joni as a person who is not only undergoing physical pain but also mental torture. Therefore, such a person does not deserve to suffer when there are low chances of recovery (Paterson, 2012). To solve her problem, an atheist would consider procuring euthanasia as a remedy to Joni's issues.
The unexpected result of procuring euthanasia in line with the view of atheism is that it could cause pain and loneliness to her family members who would find joy and satisfaction if Joni was allowed to live with them even when is seemingly a burden to them. In any case, people realize the value of others the moment they lose them.
The dilemma presented in the case of Joni is one that attracts sensitive and complex decisions. On the one hand, Joni wants to end her life, and on the other, granting her wish draws several adverse consequences. From a Christian perspective, ending the life of Joni through euthanasia goes against the teachings and dogmas of Christianity. Christianity advocates for the general wellbeing of people by asking them to do the best for others. In this case, offering care and love would be the best solution as explained. However, atheists would prefer ending her life in a bid to stop the suffering. The two competing interests offer a chance for Christians to think about their covenant with God and Jesus. In light of the above case, people should learn to deal with situations by looking at the overall implications of the dilemma decision.
Feinberg, J. S., & Feinberg, P. D. (2010). Ethics for a Brave New World, Second Edition (Updated and Expanded). Wheaton, IL: Crossway.
Lowis, M. J. (2015). Euthanasia, Suicide, and Despair: Can the Bible Help?: Guidance When Faced with Ethical Dilemmas. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers.
Paterson, M. C. (2012). Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia: A Natural Law Ethics Approach. Surrey, England: Ashgate Publishing.
Zuckerman, P. (2009). Atheism and Secularity [2 volumes]. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.
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