Euthanasia: Filling God's Shoes

Biology 150

Euthanasia, the act of killing a person painlessly for reasons of mercy, is in continuous debate in the fields of medicine, religion, and morality.   Sick and terminally ill people look towards euthanasia to put an end to their pain and suffering prematurely.   This premature suicide is looked upon as playing God, which in no way is a normal biological occurrence. With the help of doctors, many patients have ended their suffering from their disease-infested bodies, so as to escape the constant pain and the tireless machines.    There are far many more reasons why euthanasia is the wrong way out.

In the article by Burke J. Balch, J.D, and Randall K. O’Bannan, M.A, called Why We Shouldn’t Legalize Assisting Suicide, Part III: What About the Terminally Ill?, it clearly implies that a terminally ill person may seek suicide because they are depressed, not because they are ill.   There are a shocking 90 percent of terminally ill adults suffering from depression.   This fact is ignored by those who agree with assisted suicide, such as Doctor Kevorkian, because they treat the untreatable terminal illness with suicide instead of treating the treatable depression, which is the true reason why one becomes suicidal.   Suicidologist Dr. David Clark notes, “depressive episodes on the seriously ill are not less responsive to medication than depression in others.”   A caring and appropriate response that needs to be taken when terminal ill people wish to die, is the arrangement for them to get competent and compassionate counseling, and medical and psychological care.

Another reason why suicide is even a thought is because the ill think they are more of a burden on their family than they are a joy.   It is not because they are enduring “an incurdible illness with a great deal of physical pain,” or that they take part in a “restricted lifestyle,” it is because they feel like they are worthless and cant do anything for themselves.   The entire idea of legalizing the right to kill yourself for the convenience of others or yourself is a sin.   

“If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord,” says St. Paul in the Holy Bible (Rom. 14:8; cf. Phil. 1:20). This quote exemplifies my position against Euthanasia; “the act of killing a person painlessly for reasons of mercy.” I believe that no person has the right to play God by taking another’s life. Furthermore, improvements in modern medicine provide opportunities for the terminally ill to live pain-free.   Continuous medical research also leaves the door open for cures for deadly diseases. These points support my position against euthanasia.

Supporters of euthanasia believe that the patient has the right to die with dignity. For example, many people support the famous suicide doctor, Dr. Kevorkian’s reasons for assisting in over 100 patient suicides.   His reasons include reducing patient’s suffering, decreasing the psychological pain of family members and loved ones, and conserving medical resources. In this sense, Dr. Kevorkian is playing God.

“Euthanasia is a crime that no human law can claim to legitimize.”   The Declaration on Euthanasia states that every person has a right to life, therefore, murder, suicide, and euthanasia are condemned.   Euthanasia directly defies the belief of the Catholic religion; which states that God has a plan for each living soul.   In the example above, Dr. Kevorkian is filling God’s shoes.   His ending of a person’s life directly hinders God’s master plan for each one of His children.   This plan is not to be undermined by people playing God because it is like rejecting God’s loving plan.   No amount of patient pain and suffering or scarcity of resources can legitimize euthanasia; there is no excuse for this hindrance.

Moreover, continuous medical research and further improvement in modern medicine aid in my support against euthanasia.   With continuous and aggressive medical research, cures for diseases once believed to be terminal have extended life expectancy rates.   At this very moment, researchers are working endlessly on a cure for cancer.   People dying of a terminal disease may feel from time to time that euthanasia is the answer to their pain and suffering.   However, the miracle cure they need to eradicate their terminal disease may be on the horizon.   For example, until recently there was little hope for people suffering from HIV.   Modern advances in technology and drug therapy have allowed people with AIDS to live productive lives well beyond their originally anticipated life expectancy.   Even in the bleakest of times, no one has the right to extinguish a life that has been created by God.

In conclusion, I strongly believe that euthanasia is morally wrong.   It defies God’s master plan and makes humans put themselves in God’s shoes.   Euthanasia is believed by some to provide a terminally ill person with a dignified death; this is not true.   What dignity is there in defying God’s plan?   The dignity that people search for is found in the realization that death is unavoidable and must be looked upon with responsibility and honor, even in times of pain. In summary, my position against euthanasia is explicitly described in a statement from the Roman Catholic Church’s Declaration on Euthanasia, “for it is a question of the violation of the divine law, an offense against the dignity of the human person, a crime against life, and an attack on humanity." (