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Death Becomes You

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By papergirl890
Words 1963
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Tyi Lei Johnson Theology 111 Professor Birch 11-16-08
DEATH BECOMES YOU Life is precious. It should not be made to be turned off so easily like a switch. Life should be made to be memorable. Hugh Elliott had it right when he said, “I am not dying, not anymore than any of us are at any moment. We run, hopefully as fast as we can, and then everyone must stop. We can only choose how we handle the race.” Our lives are put before us to run the race and meet the finish line with a sense of tranquility. The finish line, the ending of our lives, should not be determined by us. God made and put us on this earth for a reason. We should not take that so lightly. He is the only one that gets to call the shots on how our lives should be controlled. It might mean to continue living your life with the utmost humility or it might mean meeting the Lord before some of your family members and friends do. I am a firm believer in the fact that life should begin and end at the will of the Lord. So of course, I think euthanasia is immorally wrong. The American people need to know that history shows that euthanasia is inhumane, that the Catholic Church sees it as a debatable issue, and that it seems that the United States view on euthanasia has probably remained the same throughout the years.
The definition of euthanasia has stayed the same throughout the years. So, it seems the definition does not change with the times. Euthanasia is the intentional killing or omission of a dependent human being for his or her alleged benefit. Euthanasia takes a life, not saves one. There is more than one way to end a person’s life. First, there is euthanasia by action. This is when a person is intentionally causing a person’s death by performing an action such as by giving a lethal injection. Euthanasia by action is an action that should not be taken by another human being. It makes the life of the person insignificant or better yet worthless. Second, there is euthanasia by omission. With this one, the person is intentionally causing death by not providing necessary and ordinary (usual and customary) care or food and water. Euthanasia by omission kills a person slowing by taking a way the basic needs that every human being needs to sustain life. There should be no reason for anybody to slowing take away a person’s life by taking away food and water. The definition of euthanasia goes back through history. Through history, it became an issue and rather debatable. Before euthanasia even had a name, there was an oath against the idea. This idea came from the Greek physician Hippocrates. He said, “I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel.” This oath should still hold true today, but in most aspects of a doctor’s care of their patient it does not apply. Every doctor draws their own conclusions on how they should be taking care of their patients. Some doctors see euthanasia has a way out, preferably like a “mercy killing.” Other doctors might see euthanasia has playing the role of God. I truly believe that a physician or a doctor should stick to the oath passed down by Hippocrates. I am not saying to stick to the Hippocratic Oath just because he was the “Father of Medicine.” I am saying this because a doctor or physician is supposed to be a healer of the sick. By being a healer, they have a responsibility to see that nobody’s life is truly violated—that means not trying to even consider the possibly of euthanasia. There is an excerpt from the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 1997 Washington v. Glucksberg concerning the subject of euthanasia—Chief Justice Rehnquist was referring to the 19th Century United States stated:
And the prohibitions against assisting suicide never contained exceptions for those who were near death. Rather, [t]he life of those to whom life ha[d] become a burden—of those who [were] hopelessly diseased or fatally wounded—nay, even the lives of criminals condemned to death, [were] under the protection of law, equally as the lives of those who [were] in the full tide of life’s enjoyment, and anxious to continue to live. In 1997, Chief Justice Rehnquist had his own opinion on the subject of euthanasia. He showed that euthanasia should be prohibited. It should not be legalized in order to end somebody’s life with a lethal injection or slowly starving them by not providing food or water. Rehnquist was right by saying that even if a person was a criminal, a person should not end that criminal’s life so inhumanely. I really think that inhumanity is when a person does not realize that the living and breathing person is an actual life. So of course, the Catholic Church would ultimately think that euthanasia would be immorally wrong on all accounts.
What is so immoral about the underlining cause of euthanasia? Well, the Catholic Church for years has been presiding over councils too truly decide on the issues that not only concern the Church, but also the people who are in the Church. With euthanasia, the Catholic Church thought that there should be no reason to take another person’s life by any reason. Benjamin E. Moulton stated:
One of the fundamental premises espoused by the Vatican is the unilateral condemnation of the premature termination of life. With few exceptions, Catholic dogma affirms that human life is sacred, and that the decision to terminate life can be made only by God.
With the increasing salience of euthanasia as a public issue in recent decades, the Vatican has found it necessary to reaffirm its position on the issue. On May 5, 1980, it issued the
“Vatican Declaration on Euthanasia” (1980) in response to what it saw as “the fundamental values of human life [being] called into question” as the result of modernity advances in modern medicine. I really think that the Catholic Church recognized the key issues concerning euthanasia in a clear and ethical way. The Catholic Church thought that life is a gift from God. So, if it is a gift from God in no way should it be violated by somebody else administering somebody else’s demise. Our life is the biggest gift that God gave us. Nobody should violate this gift by choosing the day of their death. In the “Vatican Declaration on Euthanasia”, the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council gives due proportion in the use of remedies, one of them is when there are no other sufficient remedies with the patient’s consent the doctor can provide some kind of advanced medical techniques— still at the experimental stage and not without a certain risk. There are only a few exceptions in the subject of euthanasia that the Catholic Church would be okay with. Still, they stand by what they truly believe in, which is the life of a human person. The Catholic Church and the United States views go hand and hand. With the change of the times, a person view on an issue might change. The United States of America is a nation, who is never short on voicing their own opinions concerning a key issue. So when the issue of euthanasia gets brought up in conversation, the American people jump at the chance to tell their views on the subject. In this modern American society that we all seem to live in, is the concept of euthanasia seen as acceptable, not acceptable, or it just seen as thing that has not changed throughout the years. Moulton said this specifically in the introduction of his article, “An unprecedented number of people in the United States today live well into their late adult years. Improved medical and public health practices, increasing life expectancies, and the ‘graying’ of the baby boom generation have all contributed to this phenomenon.” This phenomenon as caused so many people to really rethink whether it is immorally wrong to use euthanasia to end one’s life.
In the earlier years of America, everybody was more conservative on the issue concerning euthanasia, but now it seems that the American society has become less strict on their ideals and beliefs concerning the issue of euthanasia. Now, it truly seems the American people have become more liberal because they feel that there might be more than one way to look at euthanasia. Amy Burdette was one of the three people who did a study on the trends concerning euthanasia. What they found was rather interesting because they discovered that every denomination has liberalized their views on euthanasia since 1977. I think that after the Vietnam War ended, the American people became more and more liberal in their thinking. With this you saw a clear difference between the traditional and conservative way of the earlier years, and the way things are perceived to be rather liberal now. Yes, there are still some conservatives out there, who are desperately trying to voice their own opinions on euthanasia. However, in this modern American world, it seems that a liberal view on euthanasia wins out. I am a liberal, but my stance on euthanasia remains the same. I do believe that euthanasia should be counted as immorally wrong. It should not be accepted to end a life of another human being. The American people need to rethink their opinions concerning the issue of euthanasia. To me, euthanasia should never be used to decide the time of anybody’s death.
The American people need to know that history shows that euthanasia is inhumane, that the Catholic Church sees it as a debatable issue, and that it seems that the United States view on euthanasia has probably remained the same throughout the years. Life is precious and it is a direct gift from God. So, every American should understand the real consequences of taking someone else’s life. I want life to be thought as something more than just a switch that could be turned on and off. Think of the beauty of life and what it has to offer. A person needs to truly think about this before they turn off the switch to somebody else’s life.

--------------------------------------------
[ 2 ]. Hugh Elliott, [Quotations on-line] (accessed 16 November 2008); available from http://www/quotationspage.com/quote/33756.html
[ 3 ]. National Right to Life (accessed 17 November 2008); available from http://www.nrlc.org/euthanasia/index.html
[ 4 ]. National Right to Life (accessed 17 November 2008); available from http://www.nrlc.org/euthanasia/index.html
[ 5 ]. National Right to Life (accessed 17 November 2008); available from http://www.nrlc.org/euthanasia/index.html
[ 6 ]. History of Euthanasia (accessed 17 November 2008); available from http://www.euthanasia.com/historyeuthanasia.html
[ 7 ]. History of Euthanasia (accessed 17 November 2008); available from http://www.euthanasia.com/historyeuthanasia.html
[ 8 ]. History of Euthanasia (accessed 17 November 2008); available from http://www.euthanasia.com/historyeuthanasia.html
[ 9 ]. Benjamin E. Moulton, Terrence D. Hill, and Amy Burdette, “Religion and Trends in Euthanasia Attitudes among U.S. Adults, 1997-2004,” Sociological Forum, Vol. 21, No. 2 (June 2006).
[ 10 ]. Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Declaration on Euthanasia (accessed 17 November 2008); available from http://www.euthanasia.com/vatican.html
[ 11 ]. Benjamin E. Moulton, Terrence D. Hill, and Amy Burdette, “Religion and Trends in Euthanasia Attitudes among U.S. Adults, 1997-2004,” Sociological Forum, Vol. 21, No. 2 (June 2006).
[ 12 ]. Benjamin E. Moulton, Terrence D. Hill, and Amy Burdette, “Religion and Trends in Euthanasia Attitudes among U.S. Adults, 1997-2004,” Sociological Forum, Vol. 21, No. 2 (June 2006).…...

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