Internal assessment ref no : RSt/3/3
Question one what is euthanasia?
Euthanasia, also know as assisted suicide is an intention to action the death of someone whom is terminally ill, suffering and in a lot of pain. There are two types of euthanasia; passive and active. Passive euthanasia is conducted with out consent of the patient for example, someone who is brain-dead or on life support. Active euthanasia is when the patient is able to make the decision to end their own life and will be treated by doctors with a lethal drug. Euthanasia is usually used on a person who is terminally ill and wants to be relieved of suffering but there are other circumstances in which people want to be euthanasia.
Question two what are ethics?
Ethics are a deciding factor of what is right and wrong. You can look at an ethical view as definite or subjective. An example of this is how we deal with pain and death appropriately. The Catholic Church teaches us ethics from the bible and the 10 commandments. One of the most important teachings, Christian love is ‘love your neighbor’. Ethics are passed down through generations when our elders share experience and wisdom with us. Our family teaches us morals and the correct way to treat one another.
Question three why is euthanasia an ethical issue?
Ethics are taught by the Catholic Church to teach us how to differ between what is right and wrong. Euthanasia is an ethical issue because it involves ending someone’s life, which is a huge decision. Every case is different so the Catholic Church guides us through making tough decisions to insure that the final out come is good. From the church teachings, I believe euthanasia is never right under any circumstance.
Question four what are the sources of catholic ethics?
There are a few different sources of catholic ethics. Ethic teachings are mainly passed down via word of mouth teaching the respect and quality of human life. Ethics are taught and passed down through tradition, scriptures and magisterium. The magisterium focuses on the present Catholic Church giving instructions teaching us the correct way to act, correct values and correct ethics. The tradition and scriptures come from the bible where the stories of Jesus teach the correct way to treat one another.
TASK TWO A:
1. From which type of course is this response:
This response from the Magisterium. It comes from the papal Encyclicals of pop benedict XVI written in 2009 and is entitled ‘Caritas in vitiate: In charity and truth.
2. What key catholic ethical principles can be identified in this response:
This response states that it is important to have the correct motivation and energy to bring out the best in everyone “strive for a mans true good”. It talks about how we need to be sensitive, accepting and value one another. It also states how important it is to respect every individual person’s right to human dignity and life. We should all be equal and respect one another ‘‘respecting the fundamental right to life of every individual”. The response also highlights that if we legalize euthanasia then those who are sick may fear that their right to life may be taken from them. As the pope said “who could measure the negative effects of this kind of mentality for development”.
3. What does the letter mean by a materialistic and mechanistic understanding of human life?
The response is stating than when we loose respect and value for human life and focus on our own selfish needs we are damaging the dignity of humans. Treating them with a mechanistic and materialistic attitude like machine parts lacking any intrinsic relation towards each other, forgetting ethics and the church teachings to ‘love thy neighbor as you would love yourself’. The value of human life would be based on the cost to society of keeping that personal alive and pain free.
4. What sort of culture does the response see as resulting from a pro euthanasia mind set?
The response states that a mindset of a ‘materialistic and mechanistic understanding of human life’ has been adopted by society. Meaning that for example cost of treatment would set a dollar value on a persons life and whether it is worth continuing to provide treatment or to euthanasia that person. This sees a culture who disrespect and devalue human life as the text states “our attitude towards what is and is not human” to me this is proclaiming that in situations of disability and continuing illness some peoples lives loose worth and to society a life not worth living.
TASK TWO B
1. From which type of source is this response?
This response if from the magisterium. It is from the Catechism of the Catholic Church articles 2276-2279
2. What are the key catholic ethical principals that can be identified in this response?
Human dignity is one of the key principals highlighted in the response. Every person should be treated equally and every life valued the same. “Those whose lives are diminished or weakened deserve respect” meaning that no matter what situation or condition you are in, your life should still hold the same value of any others. Another key catholic principal that is highlighted in the text is respect, not only for what they want but also for what is best for them in their situation. “Death in order to eliminate suffering” still constitutes a murder and does not follow the catholic ethical principal of respect for people but if the request is granted this can relieve people who are suffering from terminal illness of the burden and pain they are carrying. That every one should have the right and be able to live as normal lives as possible. Disabilities or sickness should not come in the way of respect or dignity for a human’s life. Treat thy neighbor how you would want to be treated in return. Every single life is precious and should be valued.
3. How does this statement define euthanasia:
The statement defines euthanasia as “an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living god his creator” meaning that if a life is ended due to euthanasia whether it is a passive or active act to relieve suffering it is still seen as going against God’s will and the catholic principals “You shall not kill” is one of the 10 commandments that the catholic church teaches us to respect and live by.
4. What does this statement say about euthanasia:
This statement defines euthanasia as murder. In this statement it is clear that no matter what circumstance, if a life is intentionally ended then this goes against all ethics, principals and teachings of the church. “The ordinary care owed to a sick person cannot be legitimately interrupted”. So the statement is saying that palliative care should always be given to terminally ill patients no mater the circumstance, cost or amount of care that must be given. And that euthanasia goes against all catholic ethical principals.
5. Why is euthanasia described as murderous:
Euthanasia is described as murderous because that is exactly what it is, killing, even though it was designed to end suffering of another persons life. The Catholic Church, previous generations and society teach us that killing another human being is wrong in every circumstance. It is preached throughout the bible and the Ten Commandments and also an expectation and law of our country today.
6. What is the scriptural basis for this position?
“Thou shalt not kill” a rule from the Ten Commandments is the scriptural basis for this position. Found in the bible in Exodus 20 : 13. The Commandment means that if you break the rule and kill another person you are going against the commandments of the church and also of God.
TASK TWO C
1. From which type of source is this response?
This response if from the Magisterium. It is from the Pastoral Letter to the catholic people of New Zealand on euthanasia (1995) at the New Zealand’s Catholic Bishops Conference. Te Huinga o nga Pihopa katorika o Aotearoa.
2. What are key catholic ethical principals can be identified in this response?
The first catholic ethical principal that can be identified is to have respect and value for others and their lives and the second is the principal of human dignity. The response states that “we appeal for the resources to be made available for the care of the aged and dying” this means we go to all lengths to save someone’s life and to make it pain free even if they are terminally ill with the correct care and respect for human life. Valuing each life with palliative care so that no one ever feels they are a Burdon and can “find comfort and assistance’’. If the sick and dying feel as though euthanasia is the best option highlights a failure of care, respect and value of human dignity for us as Catholics as it goes against the catholic ethical principal.
3. What does the statement suggest might be the result of the legalization of euthanasia:
The result would be the risk of lives of people who may de-value their lives and think they are better off dead. It is up to us as Christians to make sure no one feels they ever deserve or need to receive euthanasia. People who feel they their illness are a burden to other people may want to be euthanasia instead of for a legitimate reason. The legalization for euthanasia would put many lives at risk, those with disabilities, the elderly and the terminally ill. Who all require a high level of care on a day-to-day basis. As Catholics following the correct ethics of compassion and value for human life should make these people feel comfort and should be reassured that all the palliative care systems are their to ease their suffering and that their lives are greatly valued.
4. How does the statement challenge Christians to respond to the issue of euthanasia:
The statement challenges us Catholics to “appeal to the government for more resources to be made available to the aged and dying” making sure that we have palliative care systems in place. The statement challenges us to make sure the aged and dying feel comfortable and valued. Its our responsibility as Catholics to make sure that these people in our community are properly cared for and that no one is made to feel as though they are a burden to society. The statement also thanks the Christians who look after the “physical, psychological and spiritual needs” of those who are dying.
TASK TWO D
1. From which type of source is this response?
This response is from the old testament in the bible Genesis 1: 127 and Exodus 20 : 13
2. What key Catholic ethical principals can be identified in this response?
Exodus 20 : 13 “You shall not kill” is one of the 10 commandments written by God. It comes under the Catholic ethical principal of having respect for others and holding value of human life. Genesis 1 : 27 comes under the Catholic ethical principal of respect and equality of each other. “God created human beings in god’s own image: Male and Female God created them” This states that every human being was made in the image of God to be equal with one another, to respect on another and treating each other with value and dignity. When a human being is killed by another you are also killing part of God as each human was made in his imagine. Both readings state common good, welfare and safety for others.
3. How are each of these responses reflected in A – C
In task two A it states “respecting the fundamental right to life of every person and every individual” This means that every one is equal and every one deserves the right to live, no one deserves more than another this reflects Genesis 1. 27 a we are all created in ‘gods own image” as equals. Also in task two A it states that people have “a materialistic and mechanistic understanding of human life” Meaning that people have lost respect and value of human life and begin to have “a pro-euthanasia mind set” towards the aging and ill this refers back to EXODUS 20 : 12 “you shall not kill”. In task two B Genesis 1. 27 is reflected when the text states “Contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living god, his creator”. Killing people or euthanasia no matter what the circumstance is against gods will and his respect for each other. We are made in goods imagine (Genesis 1 : 27) so therefore we are killing part of god as well. In task two B Exodus 20 : 12 is reflected when the text states “ whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick or dying persons. It is morally un acceptable”. Meaning that every person no matter the circumstance or situation deserves the right to life and to a normal life. There is no excuse for killing another human being and the text states that euthanasia is wrong. In task two C Genesis 1 : 27 can be seen in the text when it states “As Christians we cannot be free from blame if there are people in our communities unable to find comfort and assistance as they approach the end of their lives”. Referring to the fact that we are all equal and in gods eyes we should all be treated with the same respect. We should look after and nurture the aged and dying and make sure they do not feel like a burden to society. Also in task two C Exodus 20 : 12 and Genesis is referred to when the text states “to leagalise euthanasia would put at risk the lives of all those people whom others might be tempted to think would be better off dead, or who themselves might be led to believe, for what ever reason that they have become an excessive burden to others” This is saying that no matter how sick, handicapped or aged someone is they should never feel or be pushed to feel euthanasia is an option. We should support one another and use the best care and resources we have to make sure their lives are comfortable, pain free and as normal as possible. Every one is entitled to live a normal life.
TASK TWO E
1. From which type of source is this response?
From the new testament of the bible, the gospel of Matthew 5 : 21 and the Hebrews 9 : 27 – 28 2. What key Catholic Ethical Principals can be identified in this response?
In Matthew 5 : 21 the statement “you shall not murder” highlights the catholic ethical principals of respect, dignity and value of human life. When you kill a person you are going against all Christian ethics as well as the word of God. Also in Matthew 5 : 21 the statement “whoever murders shall be liable to judgment” Killing another person is the highest level of crime you can commit in society and also in the church. When you take away someone else’s life you have to suffer the consequences of going to jail in society and being judged by god and also fellow Catholics. In Hebrews 9: 27-28 it states “so Christ, having offered once to bear the sins of many” meaning that when people are sick and dying we should comfort them and look after them the best we can. Making sure we take the time to help them recover or at least lead as normal life as possible. We have to sacrifice some of our own needs and not be selfish just like Jesus did for us many years ago.
3. How are each of these responses reflected in responses A – C?
Hebrews 9 : 27 – 28 is reflected in Tasks A, B and C because each of the texts teach us that having respect for one another and to put our selfish needs aside to looks after the sick and dying. Just as Jesus put others first when he died for our sins. Hebrews 9 : 27 – 28 is reflected in task two C when the text states “as Christians, we cannot be free from blame if there are people in our communities unable to find human comfort and assistance as they approach the end of their lives”. Jesus died for our sins so we need to make sure we look after every individual especially those who are ill, handicap and need help finding comfort in life. We should put those in need in front of our own selfish needs just as Jesus did for us. One thing that task A, B and C all state which refers to Matthew 5 : 12 is that euthanasia is wrong and no matter what circumstance is against the Catholic churches ethical principals as well as Gods word. Euthanasia is seen by the church as legalized murder that is morally wrong and injustice towards human dignity and God. In task two A when it states “no longer finding the necessary motivation and energy to strive for a mans true good” and “respecting the fundamental right to life of every person and every individual” this reflects Matthew 5 : 12 not striving or not being motivated to be the best people we can and doing what’s best by helping others in need we are liable for judgment from the church and god. When we loose motivation in helping those in need and euthanasia becomes a solution for our selfishness towards others we are going against all ethical principals of the church.
Summary of the response of the Catholic Church to the contemporary ethical issue of euthanasia:
Each response is taken from sources such as Scriptures, letters from the Pope and Bishops, Bible readings, the 10 commandments and magisterium. Each of these sources teaches us the correct catholic ethical principals. The main ethical principal thought throughout these responses is having respect, value and dignity for human life no matter what the circumstance or situation. Throughout each response there is a focus on how morally wrong and un-ethical euthanasia is and the massive negative effect legalizing it would have on society. We are taught through the church, society and also word of mouth from generations before us that killing any individual is wrong and a sin. It goes against everything we know and most of all it goes against all the teachings of god and his commandments. The most important commandment that god gave us is “you shall not kill” this is seen in response task two D this commandment is a complete contradict to the legalization of euthanasia. Although euthanasia was being legalized to “end suffering” of the aged and dying the catholic church teaches that there are many palliative care systems in place to make sure that those in need are comfortable and pain free. Which means that no matter the situation there is no need for euthanasia to ever be the solution for any human being. It is up to us as christens to support those in need and to make them feel at ease that they are not a Burdon to society as stated in response task two C. God made us all in his “own image” Genesis 1 : 27 therefore if we “murder” (stated in task two B as murderous act) another human being we are murdering a part of God. Euthanasia goes against all that the Catholic Church believes, all the ethical morals we are taught through the scriptures and through time in society. There is no reasoning for it to become acceptable; there is no reasoning behind ever killing another human being.