Monday, 31 August 2009

The Christian Response

We have been discussing issues relating to the availability of euthanasia for children. It is therefore appropriate to ask what is the Christian approach to this difficult topic. The traditional Christian approach is as follows:

1. Palliative Care with response and resources and higher motivation.
2. Better communication in respect of the child, taking account of the need for counselling and a recognition and respect for the child, equally, as a person formed in the image of God.
3. Valid motivation: the phrase ‘compassion mingled with respect’, attributed to Mother Teresa, perhaps sums up the most constructive attitude and is very much in keeping with the spirit of the Lord’s words – ‘In as much as ye did it unto one of the least of these, my brothers, ye did it unto me’ (Matthew 25:40). The irreducible minimum of care was defined as – fluid and nutrition, analgesia and tender loving care (TLC). If a community is to claim to be civilised, it must care for its disadvantaged.

Here are some references if you wish to read more on the subject.

H Tristram Engelhardt, A Smith Iltis (2005)
End-of-life: the traditional Christian view.The Lancet.

RM Hare(1975)
Euthanasia: a Christian view.Philosophic exchange


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