What Religion Says About Euthanasia

In Indian philosophy and rituals there has been given a justifiable idea of one’s death in accordance of own will (ikchacha mrityu). Veer Savarkar and Vinobha Bhave are the well-known examples of the person choosing to end their lives by refusing the consumption of all-nutrition. Even Mahatma Gandhi supported this notion. Mythology says Lord Rama and his brother took Jalasamadhi in river Saryu near Ayodhya. Primeval history tells that Lord Budha and Lord Mahavir attained death by seeking it. These mythological believe propose that trace of right to Die existed in various religions followed in India. Rishi Dadhichi is also well known to choose his death himself. Nonetheless the name of Bhishma Pitamaha cannot be forgotten who choose his death as per his wish.

Euthanasia has resurfaced as a moral issue which separates society and its roots. It’s a contentious topic and from a political and religious point of view, and there are reasons for and against it. Generally all faiths condemn voluntary death. The particular issue that this problem poses is that a man has the right to circumvent the sanctity of life and when faced with the most detrimental situations, wants to end his life. Scholars of all time have tried to justify conceptions of morality rooted in a theistic context. There is this theory called Divine Command Theory which believes that righteousness is somehow entirely reliant on God, and that moral duty comprises of adherence to the commandments of God. This theory contains the argument that morality is fundamentally based on divine orders or persona, and that God dictates or demands the conduct which is morally justifiable. The precise nature for these divine commands depends entirely on the actual faith and beliefs of the specific divine command philosopher but both variations of the theory share the argument that ethics and moral duties essentially rely on God.

Most individuals explicitly associate it with murder because it simply murders and consumes the patient’s soul, rather than helping them to experience a natural death. Although, there are also times where the patient is too ill to make the call, which is when the person is directed to make an important decision on behalf of him and he is then entrusted to the judiciary, medical personnel or relatives. Advancing technologies for prolonging life and controlling dying can generate agonizing conundrums. Moral dilemmas aren’t things that the average citizen will discuss, at least not on a daily basis, throughout his personal life.

Though, from time to time the ordinary individual of society is faced with ethical questions, and how that person decides to deal with his own conundrum will make him question the principles upon which his morals are founded. To some, faith is the spiritual arbiter; to others, the ethical position is decided by science. Nevertheless, it should be remembered that the state of distress is sometimes a determinant of ethical behaviour, since it relates to the individual in regard to their specific social norms. In fact, if a person dies from a terminal and terribly debilitating illness, such as end-stage renal failure, and ultimately has no comfort left, is it ethically correct for someone to end their own lives because they want to do so? While the individual involved couldn’t advocate for himself, then the situation gets even more challenging.

Assisted suicides are also addressed in relations of ‘mercy killing’. Those who advocate the act are deemed to be compassionate in encouraging the individual with the debilitating terminal disease to die a death with peace and happiness, rather than losing their lives in agony and misery. The concerns around assisted suicide morality are clear. The viewpoint of the dying patient or others taking decisions about the terminally ill patient has to be explored in order to understand the legal repercussions of the case. The most popular theological claim is that humans are God’s divine conception, and thus human life is divine by definition. Only God will choose when a human life comes to an end, and committing a euthanasia act or aiding in suicide is behaving against God’s will and is immoral.