Physicians or authors who write on medical issues sometimes replace the term “euthanasia” with the expressions “easy death” or “killing motivated by mercy” when it comes to the patient who does not have further opportunity to live, and his present life passes into the indescribable pains and sufferings. In this case, is not euthanasia somehow as an aid to the patient?
Let’s remember Christ’s crucifixion. At His left and right sides, two malefactors are crucified. In those terrible sufferings, the malefactors reflected upon their lives and current agonies. The malefactor on the left side, even in sufferings remained unrepentant and showed his violent nature.
But for the malefactor on the right side this small period of time, in comparison to all his life, was enough for him to repent and to be cleansed of sins. Turning to Christ, the malefactor on the right side said, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:40-43). Therefore, the sufferings enabled the malefactor to repent with self-reflection and become the first man, who entered into paradise with Christ by opening gates of eternity.
On the cross, Christ was in sufferings too. In these sufferings, He shouted: “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46, Mark 15:34). These words are the words of Psalm 22 (1). According to the Evangelists, after this, someone from men, gathered by the cross, ran, soaked a sponge in vinegar, put it upon hyssop and put it to His mouth (Matt. 27:48, Mark 15:36, Jn. 19:29).
John the Evangelist says that the soldiers were gathered just by the cross. At first glance, it is not clear why after Christ’s words the soldier hurried to give a drink to Christ. But by reading general information, reported by the Evangelists, we see that Christ spoke seven times on the cross. John the Evangelist clarifies this case, noting that after above-mentioned words Christ said, “I thirst” (John 19:28). And hearing these words, the soldier, moved by mercy, rushed to give Him a drink. Christ received the drink, which probably brought some physical relief in terrible sufferings and then gave up the ghost.
In this episode of the crucifixion, we can see the answers to the questions relating to patients in pain. Sufferings gave the opportunity to reflect on past life, and in these difficult moments to address God in a special way, as well as to atone for sins in a small period of afflictions, as because of sins a person may be deprived of everlasting bliss.
In addition, at such times people around the patient express love, attention and, care. This situation is an occasion for a person to express his best behavior, care, and love for oneself and also to appear before God with such a mercy. As to pain of illness, some drugs can alleviate the pain.
Since the 1800s morphine is used in medicine. This medication is one of the best ways to alleviate strong pains. However, doctors fear to provide such medicines. Problems also arise relating to the permission of using proper painkillers by registration of place of residence. With such action, the responsible persons of medicine ignore the need to alleviate the sufferings of the patient. Therefore, there is a problem with the regulating this issue in medicine.
Occasionally, there are cases when the strong painkillers don’t alleviate the enormous pain. In this situation, the law, taking into account the religious perceptions, may consider some exclusive circumstances to authorize doctors by refraining from euthanasia to care for patients with a limited use of certain special drugs.