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Islam and Euthanasia

Islam has definite views on euthanasia, and this essay will bring to the fore all of the main beliefs relevant to the issue of euthanasia/assisted suicide. Islam spells things out quite plainly, with enough similes to clarify every point in the system of beliefs.

The sanctity of human life is a basic value as decreed by God even before the times of Moses, Jesus and Mohammad. Commenting on the killing of Abel by his brother Caine (the two sons of Adam), God says in the Qur’an: “On that account We ordained for the children of Israel that if anyone slay a person -unless it be for murder or spreading mischief in the land- it would be as if he slew the whole people. And if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people” (Qur’an 5:32). The Qur’an also says: “Take not life which Allah made sacred otherwise than in the course of justice” (Qur’an 6:151 and 17:33). The Shari’a went into great detail in defining the conditions where taking life is permissible whether in war or in peace (as an item of the criminal law), with rigorous prerequisites and precautions to minimize that event.

There is no right to suicide in Islam at any time during life. Since we did not create ourselves we do not own our bodies. We are entrusted with them for care, nurture and safe-keeping. God is the owner and giver of life and His rights in giving and in taking are not to be violated. Attempting to kill oneself is a crime in Islam as well as a grave sin. The Qur’an says: “Do not kill (or destroy) yourselves, for verily Allah has been to you most Merciful” (Qur’an 4:29). To warn against suicide prophet Mohammad said: “Whoever kills himself with an iron instrument will be carrying it forever in hell. Whoever takes …

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…nt from illness is mandatory in Islam, according to two sayings of the prophet: “Seek treatment, subjects of God, for to every illness God has made a cure”, and “Your body has a right on you.” But when the treatment holds no promise it ceases to be mandatory. This applies both to surgical and/or pharmaceutical measures, and, according to a majority of scholars, to artificial animation equipment. Ordinary life needs which are the right of every living person and which are not categorized as “treatment” are regarded differently.

These include food and drink and ordinary nursing care, and they are not to be withheld as long as the patient lives.


The Islamic Code of Medical Ethics 1981 p.67

Islamic Organization of Medical Sciences, Kuwait, 1981, p.65

The Noble Qur’an

Euthanasia Essay – Religious Views on Assisted Suicide

Official Religious Views on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

This essay is dedicated to the expression of the various official views of religious bodies within our nation. Most major denominations are represented. These religions have long been the custodians of the truth, serving to check the erratic and unpredictable tendencies of political, judicial and social bodies which would have Americans killing off their elderly and handicapped.

The National Association of Evangelicals believe that human beings are made in the image of God and are, therefore, of inestimable worth. God has given people the highest dignity of all creation. Such human dignity prohibits euthanasia, that is actively causing a person’s death.

Is it moral to withdraw a life-support system which is believed to be an inappropriate extension of the dying process? The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) believes that in cases where patients are terminally ill, death appears imminent and treatment offers no medical hope for a cure, it is morally appropriate to request the withdrawal of life-support systems, allowing natural death to occur. In such cases, every effort should be made to keep the patient free of pain and suffering, with emotional and spiritual support being provided until the patient dies. The National Association of evangelicals believes that in cases where extensive brain injury has occurred and there is clear medical indication that the patient has suffered brain death (permanent unconscious state), no medical treatment can reverse the process. Removal of any extraordinary life-support system at this time is morally appropriate and allows the dying process to proceed.(National)

The Union of Orthodox…

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…rson cannot be legitimately interrupted. The use of painkillers to alleviate the sufferings of the dying, even at the risk of shortening their days, can be morally in conformity with human dignity if death is not willed as either an end or a means, but only foreseen and tolerated as inevitable. Palliative care is a special form of disinterested charity. As such it should be encouraged. (Catechism)


National Association of Evangelicals of America

Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America

Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod

Reformed Church in America

Catechism of the Catholic Church

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