RELIGIOUS VIEW ABOUT EUTHANASIA

In some USA states, in European advanced countries such as Germany, France, Switzerland, laws have been accepted and are adopted which, taking into account a number of criteria, allowed to apply euthanasia. But the Church is against this phenomenon. In many countries law permitting euthanasia has not been adopted. What does the Bible, the Church say on Euthanasia?

Euthanasia was legalized only in a few countries, in three countries of Benelux (this name is the abbreviation of the names of the member states: Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg), Switzerland. In the USA, in the states of Washington, Oregon, California, Vermont, and in the state of Montana, the support to the patient’s suicide is allowed when a person has decided to apply euthanasia to himself by his own hands.

According to the Bible, life is God’s gift, God Himself is the Creator of life. In the book of Genesis, we read that God created life and gave it to all living creatures. (1:1-27). In this sense, a person has not the right to reject God’s gift or treat it as he sees fit. This applies even to the life of animals.

Into paradise, then at the initial stage of human existence killing animals was not admitted, and eating animals was allowed by God only after the Flood (Gen. 9:3). In the Old Testament, we also see the establishment of the death penalty in Mosaic Law (Exodus 19:12, 21:16, 22:20, 35:2; Lev. 20:2, 20:9-16, 21:9, 24:16, Deuteronomy 13:6-10, 17:12, 21:20-21), but on all these commandments the command “Thou shalt not kill” dominated (Exodus 20:13). Executions, as well as the authority to wage wars against foreigners and to destroy them, were given by God, and the man was not authorized to kill by his own will.

For God’s vision two realities are present simultaneously – this earthly, temporary world and the eternity, whereas we are witnessing the earthly things, but eternal realities we believe in.  For the man, the murder is the act of destroying someone, but in the case of God, it is a transferring someone from this reality to the eternal reality.

According to church rules, even during wars the murder, committed by soldiers who went to defend the homeland, religion and the sacred values, although is not considered a sin, but it is viewed as an action because of which the person’s approach to the Holy Eucharist is banned to be cleansed from the committed deed.

Such a service of the soldier is an expression of the greatest love proclaimed by Christ, according to the Lord’s words: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). But even in this case of manifestation of the greatest love, the killing, even in defense of the homeland and sacred values, is considered to be a subject of purification. Therefore, moreover, the murder of a sick person in sufferings and pains is seen as a homicide and is unacceptable from the religious point of view.