* Examine the response of a religious tradition to a contemporary ethical issue
Euthanasia or Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS) refers to the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve the pain or suffering of someone. It’s an action or omission, which of it and by intention causes death, with the purpose of eliminating all suffering. This is a current contemporary ethical issue that the Catholic Church disagrees with both in New Zealand and worldwide.
Death is something that is determined by God and no one else. By choosing to end our own or another’s life we are ‘playing God’ and trying to control things that should occur naturally. Euthanasia is illegal in New Zealand and to date there has been three attempts (one that is yet to be discussed) at passing legalisation on euthanasia, in which all have failed so far. According to the New Zealand Crimes Act 1961 it is “illegal to aid and abet suicide” under section 179.
The Catholic Church believes that all humans have innate dignity from the second they are born and we should be trying to preserve this life as opposed to ending it – palliative care. This is the total care of people when a person has a disease that I non responsive to treatment. Of course this is morally and ethically right and the church believes that we should be focusing on this as opposed to euthanasia.
The first bill that attempted to legalise euthanasia was in 1995 by Michael Laws. His bill ‘ death with dignity’ failed substantially by 61-29 votes. IN 2003, Peter Brown also put forward a similar ‘death with dignity’ bill in which this time it only failed 60-57 votes. And even more recently Marayn Street announced that she put her bill to decriminalize euthanasia in the Parliament drop box and it is estimated that this will be formally discussed in the next couple of years. It is now extremely evident that euthanasia is becoming increasingly popular in topics of conversation. It is an...