christians supporting euthanasia

should Christians support Euthanasia?

Euthanasia is a highly controversial issue that requires one to evaluate their moral beliefs to determine if one is justified to support or oppose the issue. A discussion about meta-ethics and applied ethics is essential to explore the moral arguments used to support or against euthanasia. This paper will describe the methodology that Christians should ascribe to when trying to determine the morality of euthanasia. After looking at the arguments for and against euthanasia, it is justifiable for Christians not to support Euthanasia because it violates the natural right to life, degrades human dignity and value, and contradicts God’s role in creation.


A Revelational Christian Ethic

This theory adopted the natural rights theory proposed by John Locke. Natural rights theory is based on natural law, where reason is integral to moral thought and decisions[1]. Natural rights refer to fundamental human rights obtained from nature’s law, such as life and freedom. These rights are given to all people by God or nature and cannot be taken by healthcare providers or individuals. The theory of natural rights is premised on the assumption that the highest priority should be given to preserving human beings and the means to preserve human life. Human beings should protect their lives as well as other people’s lives. According to the theory, human beings are created by one omnipotent and infinitely wise creator. Hence, everyone is entitled to natural rights because God owns them. Natural right means that human right is a product of God making and not human making. Natural rights exist through a dispensation beyond human powers. The assertion that human beings are endowed with natural rights by nature and these natural rights are dictated by the laws of nature does not mean that God created them endows them with human rights. It means that nature has given man a unique, unchangeable, rights-bearing nature[2]. Natural rights are given by God to human beings and are revealed in their specific nature, and the same rights are given to all human beings. Humans are rational beings and cannot be divided into dominators and oppressors by nature. Human behavior is governed by a law of nature, a moral order that can only be discovered through natural human reason. This moral law requires humans not to harm another person’s life, health, or freedom. It also commands them to respect other people’s natural rights. As nature-owned beings, humans are subject to God’s laws and are answerable for contradicting the will of God.

Since humans are created by God and are bound by the moral responsibility to obey God’s ordained. Natural rights such as the right to life are based on natural wants and the natural means of satisfying them. Every human being has a natural desire to live well and lead a good human life. They are endowed with remarkable human powers to satisfy their natural desires. The desire for safety and happiness drives human beings. These desires can only be derived from natural wants and not from human desires because humans have a natural inclination to dominate or oppress others[3]. Desires that prompt people to oppress others cannot be the basis of human rights because they do not generate moral obligations. It is senseless to have a moral obligation to submit to the evil desire of another human being. Humanity claims the right to impose obligations and governs other people’s desires so that they can reciprocate by respecting their desires. In this regard, rights are relative to the objects of basic human desires, leading to the pursuit of safety and happiness.

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Safety connotes the primary end, while happiness is the ultimate end of natural rights. Long-term happiness is more important than pleasure achieved in momentary exposures. Humans have a self-consciousness that enables them to conceive happiness beyond present experiences and form a uniquely human idea of happiness. Such happiness enables them to overcome the pains of the present moment and envision possessing future goods[4]. Accordingly, the ability to forego present happiness enables humans to regulate their behaviors according to the general idea of happiness formed through the power of abstraction. The same power that enables humans to pursue happiness also enables them to have a moral responsibility of living according to moral law. Human acts should be evaluated through the power of abstraction, the suspensory power that defines what is right and wrong, good and ill, and to act on every decision. By exercising the power of abstraction, human beings become morally responsible beings, capable of pursuing happiness in the right way.

Moral guidance in Christianity is based on the natural rights endowed to humanity by God during creation. Each person is self-owned under God’s natural law, with the moral right to preserve human rights and happiness. The foundation of morally right or wrong is found in divine ownership and divine revelation. Humans understand moral laws through reason. Moral laws are founded on divine will, and humans must comply with the divine authority that makes the laws. Human beings should rationally have a clear set of logical ideas about human nature, divine beings, and society. Human behavior should align to divine purpose and authority, and humans have a moral obligation to honor and glorify the will of God. Humans have a natural impulse to protect and protect human life, define their moral duties and regulate their behavior accordingly. No person has a right to command another person without their consent.

Conversely, natural rights do not guarantee the successful pursuit of security and happiness. As depicted by Locke, natural rights do impose negative obligations on others. Without a natural right to command other people, human beings have no natural duty to obstruct others or harm others in their rightful pursuits. Human rights are insecure in the state of nature. The divine design is that human beings should experience pleasure and pain to utilize the natural attributes fully[5]. In this regard, pleasure and happiness are the foundations upon which moral ideas of right and wrong are founded. Right things produce happiness, while wrong things produce pain. Morally right or good things refer to pleasure or happiness derived from adhering or conforming to moral dictates. Morally wrong things result from failing to conform to moral obligations. Acknowledging and recognizing that one’s obligation to a superior being arises from divine ownership compels human beings to live according to the divine will. A Christian who obeys the divine will and exercises the moral obligation to obey God’s law will need to assess the arguments for and against euthanasia to determine if it is morally right or wrong.


The ethical problem of euthanasia is building a crescendo, compelling Christians to prayerfully and thoroughly think through the problem to determine which side to support. Often, people opt to commit suicide or request euthanasia in case of a terminal illness. Euthanasia refers to the process of ending a terminally ill person’s life by administering lethal medicine or withdrawing treatment. Euthanasia is primarily aimed at terminating a person’s life to prevent them from suffering and preserve their integrity, honor, dignity, and respect.    Euthanasia has evolved from Ancient Greek to modern science. Although life was sacred in Ancient Greece, the sanctity of life outlived its relevance in severe cases, such as in deformed infants[6]. Disabled infants were allowed to die ac according to the law of nature to prevent them from future misfortunes and misery. In modern science, Euthanasia is used to prevent the terminally ill from suffering and enable them to die a dignified death.

While modern science is rapidly adopting euthanasia, fundamental ethical questions arise on whether the practices are similar to murder and the religious perspectives to the matter. The central dilemma revolves around how Christians should support compassionate and competent medical care in modern healthcare systems while ensuring the sanctity of life and respect for human dignity. Some Christians support euthanasia, citing that it enhances the quality of life and patient’s autonomy. Although the Bible requires Christians to “rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance” (Romans 5:3), it is not easy. Suffering lowers the quality of life and subjects patients to more suffering. Thus, Euthanasia is a justifiable process to end a person’s life to enhance their quality of life. Prolonging a person’s life through machines is expensive and imposes heavy financial burdens on the patient’s family. Families spend most resources on medicine instead of using them to improve their lives. Euthanasia saves these resources, enabling t deceased family to live a quality life. Another argument favoring euthanasia is that it enhances the right to decide how and when to die. Every person has a right to self-determination, the right to choose their destiny through the God-given power of reason.

Various arguments against euthanasia are based on the right to life and the value of human life. Although the Bible does not directly reference euthanasia, the aspect of murder evokes the need to preserve human life. During creation, God breathed life into man’s nostrils and gave him life, naturally endowing him with the right to life (Genesis 2:7). Further, God created man in His image and likeness, suggesting that life is a precious gift from God ad should be preserved by all means. God determined the beginning of a person’s life and held power to end it. Termination of life is sinful and goes against the will of God. Instead of terminating a person’s life, there are life-prolonging medicines that could prolong a person’s life and allow the law of nature to take its course. The sixth commandment in the Bible states that “Thou shall not kill” (Exodus 20:13). Any type of murder is forbidden in Christianity, and terminating a persons’ life is synonymous with murder. Euthanasia is morally wrong and contradicts the moral obligation of preserving human life by not killing. Only God can determine when to end a person’s life.

Although terminating a person’s life relieves them from pain, it is irrational to end a person’s life. Christianity teaches that suffering produces perseverance and everything happens for God to those who believe in Him. In Mark 15:23, God Himself refused to take the mixture meant to relieve Him from pan. He endured the suffering at the cross, suggesting that suffering is inevitable and Christians share in God’s suffering through their miseries on earth. God has a purpose and reason for every human suffering, and terminating a person’s life hinders a person from realizing God’s purpose in their life. Catholic faith considers any attempt to end a person’s life immoral and sinful. The church believes that the sick must be treated and their life preserved at all costs.

Another argument against euthanasia stems from the belief that all human beings are equal before God and human value must be preserved. Christians believe that modern science or artificial intelligence cannot measure human value. Human beings should be valued as equals, and the terminally ill should be allowed to live. Terminating life based on enhancing their quality of life regards the lives of terminally ill patients as worthless. Terminally patients have the same value as other human beings. Human life is valuable and should be allowed to undergo natural death. The period before death is critical because it allows people to self-reflect their ways and reconnects their spirits to the divine will. Terminating a person’s life interferes with the process of dying and hinders the spirit from moving towards God.

In conclusion, this paper has applied the natural rights theory to the issue of euthanasia. While proponents of euthanasia agree that it enhances the quality of life and supports the right to self-determination, Christian perspectives, as found in the Bible, offer compelling arguments against euthanasia. The Bible highlights that life is a precious gift from God, and it should be preserved by all means. It does so by authorizing Christians ‘Thou Shall not Kill’ and encourages them to endure suffering, for they are partakers in the kingdom of God. Although various states have legalized physician-assisted suicide, the debate about the moral grounds of Euthanasia will continue. Christians should thoroughly and prayerfully evaluate the principles of euthanasia to determine if they align with Biblical teachings and decide which position to take.


Cheyfitz, K. (2019). Who decides? The connecting thread of euthanasia, eugenics, and doctor-assisted suicide. In Right to die versus sacredness of life (pp. 5-16). Routledge.

Heyman, S. J. (2017). The Light of Nature: John Locke, Natural Rights, and the Origins of American Religious Liberty. Marq. L. Rev.101, 705.

Muñoz, V. P. (2016). Two Concepts of Religious Liberty: The Natural Rights and Moral Autonomy Approaches to the Free Exercise of Religion. American Political Science Review110(2), 369-381.

Schofield, P. (2020). Jeremy Bentham: Nothing but pleasure and pain. TLS-The Times Literary Supplement.

Waldron, J. (2017). 13 John Locke. Political Thinkers: From Socrates to the Present, 231.

[1] Heyman, S. J. (2017). The Light of Nature: John Locke, Natural Rights, and the Origins of American Religious Liberty. Marq. L. Rev.101, 705.

[2] Waldron, J. (2017). 13 John Locke. Political Thinkers: From Socrates to the Present, 231.

[3] Heyman, 2017

[4] Schofield, P. (2020). Jeremy Bentham: Nothing but pleasure and pain. TLS-The Times Literary Supplement.

[5] Heyman, 2017

[6] Cheyfitz, K. (2019). Who decides? The connecting thread of euthanasia, eugenics, and doctor-assisted suicide. In Right to die versus sacredness of life (pp. 5-16). Routledge.