A Theological Account Of Death And Dying

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Candidate No: 000648153
TMM2171 Christian Faith & Ethical Living
Essay Two

Martha Grace Weatherill
Christian Faith & Ethics
Essay Two
Word Count: 2680
How should a theological account of death and dying shape the morale debate concerning euthanasia

The debate on whether it is moral to assist in suicide or euthanasia has been very strong and heated by both sides of the argument, this debate has not gone away although the bill for the arguments for assisted suicide and euthanasia was lost in the UK parliament last year.[footnoteRef:1] Using the works of catholic theologians from the fourth century to the twenty first century, this essay gives the theological account of death and dying and aims to shape the moral debate concerning …show more content…

as one identifies with Christ?s suffering, death and resurrection (Hope). Therefore, the Christian understanding is to accept death as natural even though it is a punishment from the fall. This acceptance will help the Christian?s ?journey? with death in their lives and the lives of friends and family, by treating the dying with care and dignity as a community and by addressing and managing the ?total pain? of the individual as practiced in hospices.[footnoteRef:4] [2: David Albert Jones, Approaching the End: A Theological Exploration of Death and Dying (Oxford?; New York: OUP Oxford, 2007), 24.] [3: Ibid., 37.] [4: Beville, Dying to Kill, 285?301.]

For Thomas Aquinas, a thirteenth century theologian, in agreement with Augustine, he maintains that dying is because of sin and is natural when it occurs because of elements in the body that are contrary to existence. He argues that suicide and indeed assisted killing is viewed as death in an ?unnatural state? because what happens is that the individual killed is deprived of their life, the community loses one of its members and the person?s soul is dead in a manner that is not natural. Jones takes this even further by suggesting that it is even worse to kill someone out of mercy because the innocent deserves our protection. Aquinas maintains that this sort of death is against a person?s natural love of self and it questions God?s authority. David Albert

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