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Page 21

A devaluing of human life in our society is not only observable at the beginning, but also at the closing stages of human life. Abortion, but also euthanasia, are transgressions of God's sixth commandment, "Thou shalt not kill."

The word "euthanasia" is derived from two Greek words, "eu" meaning "good," and "thanatos" meaning "death." Euthanasia, therefore, literally means "good death." The present-day, secular use of this term does not refer to the biblical sense of a "good death" - a spiritually-prepared death - but it refers to a person taking certain measures to secure for himself or for another a shorter, more painless death. This practice is also named' 'mercy killing," a term which reflects the idea that it is kind or gracious to end a person's suffering by killing him.

Euthanasia can take place at all age levels and in all circumstances: from unwanted, severely-handicapped infants to younger or older persons suffering from severe diseases or accidents. The most common use of euthanasia in our society today, however, is with elderly people.

Euthanasia can be exercised either passively or actively. Passive euthanasia secures the death of a person by withholding certain necessary means to preserve life - required medical treatments and medicines or necessities of food and shelter. A newborn, severely handicapped baby's death resulting from being left unfed and unattended or an elderly person's death resulting from not receiving required therapeutic blood transfusions are examples of passive euthanasia.

Active euthanasia refers to the killing of a person through direct actions. An elderly, terminally-ill man's death caused by an intentional overdose of painkiller is an example of active euthanasia.

The motive underlying both active and passive euthanasia is to kill. Euthanasia is murder; it breaks God's sixth commandment, "Thou shalt not kill." No one may take the life of another outside of the three exceptions that God proclaims in His Word which were specified previously in this chapter: legitimate self-defense, just war, and required capital punishment. Beyond these biblical stipulations, no one may be instrumental in taking the life of another.

Human life is sacred because man is created in the image of God, he has a never-dying soul, and is destined for a never-ending eternity. This special sacredness extends to all human life: not only

  • Euthanasia - The willful killing of the aged, infirm, or incurably diseased
  • Secular - Non-religious; without God; separated from His Word






  • To a secular humanist, putting a dog or horse "to sleep" is not much different from putting a suffering person "to sleep." Why is this reasoning rejected by a biblical Christian?



  • Therapeutic - Serving to aid recovery; to cure
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