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156 - Euthanasia - Easing the process of dying

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Dr. Shabbir
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Joined: 24 Dec 2006
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Location: Florida, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:58 pm    Post subject: 156 - Euthanasia - Easing the process of dying Reply with quote

Euthanasia - Easing the process of dying

EUTHANASIA (Mercy Killing). A better definition of Euthanasia would be ‘easing the process of dying’.

I would rather call it, ‘Easing a painful departure’.

On a lighter note: Life is a venereal disease with one hundred percent mortality.

Merriam-Webster dictionary www.m-w.com defines Euthanasia as below: Etymology: Greek, easy death, from euthanatos, from eu + thanatos death — thanatos: the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy.

So, by definition, Euthanasia is neither suicide nor murder. Yet, it has been a very controversial issue during the last few decades. People keep asking my opinion on the subject. Whatever the question, invariably, I begin by saying that Shabbir Ahmed is no authority, and in fact, no human being is. Therefore, we must search the answers in the Scriptures. Do the Quran, the Bible or other Scriptures forbid Euthanasia? NO! And God does not forget.

The Muslim opponents of Euthanasia, almost as a knee jerk response, cite ‘Wa La Taqtuloo Anfusakum’ (literally, do not kill yourselves) without looking at the context.

4:29 O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Do not consume one another’s wealth wrongfully, not even by way of trade based on mutual agreement. Do not destroy one another, and thus do not destroy your own ‘self’. …

A more knowledgeable Muslim may bring 17:33 to support his claim against Euthanasia.

17:33 You shall not kill any person, for God has forbidden it, except in the course of justice (through an appropriate court)… [The verse is obviously talking of slaying of a human being in anger or malice. And, what can be a more just cause than relieving the persistent, intractable suffering of a dying human or animal?]

Let us look at verse 13:17. It rather seems to gently, though, implicitly favor Euthanasia.

13:17 … While that which is of benefit to mankind, exists on earth. … [The real existence on earth is of the one that benefits humanity.]

The Bible or any other scriptures nowhere denounce Euthanasia. Rather, the Scriptures repeatedly ordain compassion and kindness to fellow humans.

WHAT WOULD I DO? Keeping the Golden Rule in mind, will I personally opt for Euthanasia for myself? Most certainly, YES!

[The Golden Rule:Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Matthew 7:12]

THE HOSPICE PROGRAM: One extremely benevolent idea that has fortunately been implemented in many countries is the Hospice Plan, and it has found general acceptance among the public. Most people, still unaware of the facility, need to be
educated about it. The basic theme behind Hospice is not far from Euthanasia. Returning back to the definition, the second part says, thanatos: the act or practice of permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy. Hospice promises and delivers as its goal what I called, ‘Easing a painful departure’. In my humble opinion, making the process of death as comfortable as possible is nothing but a highly commendable form of compassion. Withholding aggressive, invasive and frequently painful and useless medical procedures in a terminally ill, incurable person makes much sense.

ARTIFICIAL LIFE SUPPORT: Few people would like prolonging the life of patients in a vegetative state through artificial life-support systems. That, once again, comes close to Euthanasia.

OBJECTIONS TO EUTHANASIA: The objections to Euthanasia arise from religious, medico-legal and emotional reasons. We have seen that no major religion explicitly forbids it.

The strongest emotional rebuttal against Euthanasia comes in the form of ‘taking a life’. It is also frequently said that physicians are supposed to heal and not steal life. But if we keep in mind the condition of the candidate for Euthanasia, these objections fail to sustain. In fact, denying this merciful option may be very unkind to the suffering soul.

MEDICO-LEGAL ISSUES: Addressing the medico-legal issues should be simple. The consent of the patient, or if the patient is unable to grant consent, the consent of close family members is, of course, of paramount importance. In addition to the next of kin, let there be at least two physicians and one attorney document and sign their strong recommendation for Euthanasia and then, a court must attest to the document. Ideally, every country and state should come up with a uniform policy concerning this very important subject of life and death.

This is the humble submission of a life-long student, Shabbir Ahmed.
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