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Religion and Theology
Pages 3 (753 words)
Euthanasia is recognized as the act of voluntarily taking one’s life. While in pure technical terms the act of euthanasia is a form of suicide, in practice it is generally associated with individuals facing end of life issues that choose euthanasia as a means of escaping pain and suffering associated with their condition.
Specifically, euthanasia has been defined as, “a deliberate intervention undertaken with the express intention of ending a life, to relieve intractable suffering" (Harris 2001, p. 70). Globally there are a variety of legal perspectives on euthanasia. In these regards one considers the nature of voluntary and non-voluntary euthanasia. Voluntary euthanasia, when the act occurs with the willful consent of the patient, is permitted in some countries. Conversely, involuntary euthanasia is globally prohibited. The last two decades have experienced tremendous controversy over euthanasia as individuals such as Dr. Jack Kevorkian popularized the practice, gaining significant media attention in the process; still, one must note that even as Kevorkian gained some mainstream acceptance, he was ultimately convicted for his actions. While legal considerations of euthanasia are a major concern, of late ethical concerns have most prominently dominated the collective discussion. This essay examines ethical concerns within secular and catholic perspectives. While Catholic doctrine spans a wide array of considerations, one of the most comprehensive perspectives exists in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Part 3, section 2 of the catechism addresses many considerations related to euthanasia. One considers that the Ten Commandments is a foundational doctrine not simply of the Catholic Church, but of the Christian faith. ...
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