Quotes about Euthanasia


Arguments in Favor of Euthanasia:

1. Personhood – The argument is simple: someone in an irreversible coma is no longer a person but only a biological organism. The distinction is often made between a person’s biological life, or physical existence, and one’s biographical life, or the aspects of one’s life that make it meaningful. One’s biographical life is the sum total of one’s goals, desires, dreams, plans, accomplishments and relationships. Medical science has made it possible to retain one’s biological life after having lost one’s biographical life. Thus the individual exists only as a body, having lost the essence of what it is that makes him/her a person. Hence it is not murder to terminate what remains of one’s mere biological existence.

2. Quality of Life – In cases of unrelenting and unrelievable suffering where there is no reasonable hope of improvement, life ceases to be worth living. In such cases, an individual or his/her family ought to be free to say “enough is enough” and put an end to such incessant misery. No one should be compelled to live a life that they no longer regard as life worth living.

3. Mercy – We extend mercy to animals when we put them out of their misery. Why should we be less merciful to humans?

4. Utilitarian concerns – Most people cannot afford to underwrite the expense of keeping a terminally ill or comatose person alive. To do so places an unfair burden on other members of the family. Why should tax dollars and precious hospital space and technology be expended to perpetuate the life of someone who will never function in society again when there are other, potentially productive people, who cannot receive proper care?


Arguments Opposing Euthanasia:

1. The Sanctity of Life – Human life, because created in the image of God, is sacred. No measure is too extreme, no cost too high, to preserve what God has made.

2. Biblical prohibition vs. life-taking – Killing the innocent is condemned in both the OT and NT.

3. Hope – Medical history is filled with examples of people thought to have incurable/terminal diseases who were later healed when medical knowledge increased.

4. The value of suffering – The Bible says that people grow and mature and deepen in their understanding of and trust in God when they endure suffering. In other words, there is a sanctifying effect in physical suffering.

5. The biblical perspective on death – Death is the final indignity, no matter what form it takes. Death is the last enemy, to be resisted, not embraced.

6. Divine healing

7. The Slippery Slope – “Euthanasia will not be restricted to the terminally ill. Rather, it will be extended to people with varying quality of life circumstances. Opponents [of active euthanasia] fear that candidates for euthanasia will include the nonterminally ill, such as people with Alzheimer’s disease or other degenerative brain diseases, the severely mentally retarded, and handicapped newborns” (Rae, 173).