edited December 1969 in Coptic Orthodox Church
Hi, My name is Marianne
and it's actually my first time to share something.
so anyway, I had a question about euthanasia (I am studying it right now), which is putting people to death if they have a fatal disease or disability. Like if someone have cancer, or a disease that causes them to die, they just put them to death so they can rest. Anyway, I know that this wrong, because no matter what you shouldn't put someone to death. And of course, it's wrong in our church...I was just wondering what would be the church view on this. Thank u


  • Hey Marianne,
    Just a point of information - Euthanasia is legal right? I mean it is allowed in the United States? As for your question, as to what are the views of our Church on euthanasia, its a tough topic and a great question. Do you let the person live, even though it's near their time to depart? Or do you let them die knowing you could have saved them a little longer. Great question Marianne. Hopefully someone knows the official Church view.
  • The following article by Bishop Serapion (found @ / captures the church's views pretty well:


    “Euthanasia” is a Greek word that means “happy or easy” death. It is used to signify medical intervention used to end the life of a patient suffering from incurable diseases, especially those with painful diseases causing suffering. The intervention is seen as stemming from the doctor’s mercy and pity for his patient. This concept also calls for ending ffb the lives of children or infants, who suffer from mental retardation or complicated diseases, thus having mercy upon them and saving them from a callous life.

    The Supporters of Euthanasia are divided into Two Groups:

    The first group requires a clear and frank approval by the patient before medical intervention is taken to end his life. This is called Voluntary Euthanasia.

    The second group regards the medical decision to intervene in ending the life of the patient as sufficient, since it is in the best interest of the patient, i.e. a patient is rescued from pain and suffering. In this case the approval of the patient is not necessary. This is called Involuntary Euthanasia.

    This second group takes into consideration the cases in which the patient is incapable of giving his consent and presupposes that if his condition permitted, he would agree.

    Supporters of Euthanasia base their Case on Three Elements:

    The Patient’s Desire:

    Some consider that the patient’s desire to end his life justifies medical intervention to carry out this wish, on the basis that only the patient has the right to choose death. These people limit their acceptance of medical intervention only when there is consent by the patient. Hence, they only support Voluntary Euthanasia.

    The Dignity of Human Life:

    Some support euthanasia on the basis of preserving the dignity of human life. Therefore, they accept intervention to end the life of an individual who has reached a stage that robs him of his dignity.

    These people take into account some complicated diseases and the accompanying symptoms, e.g. pain, loss of concentration, delirium, and lack of bodily functions. They see all these conditions as not agreeing with the honor of human life. They regard intervention to end the patient’s life in such cases as not only an act of mercy, but also an act, which preserves the dignity of the patient.

    Obviously, these people do not mean that any case having these conditions would qualify for intervention, but they mean the complicated diseases such as terminal cancer, in which the patient has reached an incurable stage and wishes to end his life.

    The Patient’s Interest:

    Some believe that as long as the intervention to end the life of the patient is for the best interest and welfare of the patient, then it is an acceptable act, even if the patient’s condition makes it difficult to give his consent.

    Euth ffb anasia is a practice that has the outward appearance of mercy and pity. However, inwardly, there is denial of the basic truths about our faith regarding life and death. Therefore, from a religious point of view, it is rejected. Every Christian with a conscience must oppose any attempts to pass laws that allow it.

    Euthanasia is rejected for the Following Reasons:

    The Human Life is a Gift from God:

    “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostril the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (Gen. 2:7) Man does not have the power to end his life because it is his desire to do so. Likewise, a person’s expression of his desire to end his life, regardless of the reasons, does not justify others to carry out this desire, especially those working in the medical field.

    Accepting a patient’s desire to end his life as the basis for such an argument would lead us to also accept suicide, which undoubtedly is an expression of a person’s desire to end his life. Thus, are we going to accept suicide as a means to end a person’s life because it is his desire?

    The Honor of Human Life is in Life Itself:

    Regardless of what the outward appearance of life is like, nothing can destroy a person’s dignity except sin. Illness, pain, and physical weakness do not destroy human dignity, only sin destroys the human nature and degrades it.

    Indeed, sickness is not a part of the human nature, which God has created to be completely healthy. Therefore, man always tries to avoid disease or seek treatment when needed. The presence of illness, no matter how severe it is or what form it takes, does not justify the medical intervention to end it, because there is no cure.

    God Wishes Goodness from Man, but Sometimes Allows Sickness for the Good of Man:

    Sickness has led many people to repentance, and the crucible of pain during suffering has purified their souls and spirits. Also, the sick person can be a spoken message for the healthy, who take for granted the grace of good health, or those who indulge in worldly matters and over-value them.

    With our human vision, it is difficult to decide what is in the best interest of a sick person. Although, every effort is made to ease the pain of the sick, and every prayer is raised for the sake of his healing, yet, in the end, with faith and total submission to our good Lord, we leave the matter of life and death to God. He alone knows what is in the best interest of the sick person.

    Finally, we would like to differentiate between euthanasia and the intervention to withhold medical life support equipment from a patient who suffers from brain death.

    In the case of euthanasia, the patient is still alive, his brain is functioning, as well as many of his organs, but there is no hope for a cure. Intervention in this case means ending life. This would be considered a murder crime, which is not justified by the patient’s consent, despair in not finding a cure, or supposedly having pity on the patient.

    As for cases of brain death, the patient is in fact “dead” as indicated by the absence of brain function. What seems to be a pulse and breathing is in fact just artificial, because it is resulting from the life support equipment attached to the patient. Intervention to remove these machines displays honor towards the deceased and mercy towards his relatives and loved one.
  • Thank you very much for the replies, that really haelped me a lot, to know about what the church views about this topics. I have read an article about it, and I found that removing life support, or stopping medications is actually a part of euthanasia called passive euthanasia. I also found that a part of the euthanaisa was somethign called physician assisted suicide, which I found really disturbing that there is actually people who help somebody commits suicide. I know that all this is wrong and it shouldn't be allowed, because I believe that Life is a gift of God, and that God's made should be taken by God, not by a human.
    Again thank you very much for your info that helped me a lot.
  • I strongly disagree with euthanasia. Its very wrong. Your life does not belong to you but given by God and also we can not know what God plans for this terminally ill patient and also his wisdom
  • I agree with DrFMFIssa, regardless of how much pain a person is going through, they must endure it. God gave us life and he is the one who will take it away from us; in any variety of ways, whether painful, unexpected, brutal, or peaceful. Humans have no right to intervene with God’s individual plan for each of us.
    Banoub, euthanasia is illegal. The notorious Doctor Kevorkian was sent to jail a numerous amount of times for taking the lives of ill people. Even though he had video documentation that they welcomed the death and voluntarily selected this route, it is still very much illegal.
  • sory didnt get a chance to ask my priestr yet he went to thailand 4 a month,
    and hey ur gainin on me with the posts bro...
  • nah im just playin
    keep up the Good work!
    George ;D
  • I know this is somewhat irrelevent... but what does the church think of giving euthanasia to animals... like a vet would? Whether the animal is terminally ill or not... any opinions?
  • gr8 question sms
    i cant answer it but i think that because theirs no place for animals in heaven, as in they dont have a soul, therefore if somebody does give euthanasia, to a sufferin animal, if wont effect their life as in, if we end its life before its time to pass then it wont matter because animals dont repent.
    so if u do it to a person who coulda surrvived and mayb repented, then thas wrong but to an animal, theres no effect.
    animals r like a movie, the begin and end...
    as much as i hate that, being an animal lover, its Gods will
  • (Gen 9:2) "And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air..."

    It is not a sin to take the life of an animal. I asked my priest this since I sometimes go hunting. He showed me this line from the bible. God gave us the ability to be able to kill them and he made us more civilized and gave us more judgment than animals. If it were a sin, we wouldn’t be able to squish a bug, kill a mouse ect. And if those were sins, then I think we would all be murders. ;)
  • dude, but if u take away somethings life without cause, i find that morally wrong, but ill check biblically, i feel that the verse u mentioned meant that we have athourity of them if we are in need. eg for food, or self defence, to end its sufferin, but to either cruelly slaughter an animal, or kill it for fun or for sport, without need, then your killin off Gods creation. God created them not to be slaughtered for means of fun but to help us food wise, and to help the environment...
    i guess what im tryin to say is, its gotta be wrong unless u have cause.
  • G.J.I, I do not kill for sport. I eat what I kill. You are correct, if u kill for sport it is a sin! I do NOT do that. However, god gave us power over these beasts. If we see a need to kill them, we have every right to. IF we see a need; i.e. killing a mouse that has infested your house, killing your dog suffering from cancer, killing an enraged pit bull ect. God gave us the ability to make logical judgments and in the event we need to take the life of an animal, we are allowed to.
  • Thanx for all ur responses... u guys answered my question greatly!
    but what if the animal isn't ill or as u say mark, an enraged pitbull... then what? don't we still have the right to take it's life?
    i ask this because if someone came to me and i was a vet, and they wanted to just kill their animal, although it was healthy and well... and as a vet... u'd sorta be forced to kill it... so is that right?
  • In the case of an enraged pit bull, sure we have the right to kill it. The real question is whether or not it deserves to die. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some animal hater or anything, but it surely needs to be destroyed. It’s almost like the death penalty, if this insane dog is causing harm to people and it needs to be put to sleep. The case of the woman in Manhattan who was attacked by her pit bulls and was killed. Think of if that was your loved one, wouldn’t you want those animals destroyed so that they couldn’t potentially harm anyone else. I even heard a story of a pit bull making a meal of a newborn baby. Animals like that should not be “given a second chance” they have no thinking process and are wild. They need to be handled properly. Please don’t send me any animal rights responses, I hate PETA. “Roaches have rights” umm no…
  • lol, good point Mark :)
  • But you have to also remember that in the OT they offered animal sacrifices plus we eat animals everyday!! But when you kill it just for the fun of it, that's kinda bad, and abusing the freedom u have!

  • Do you guys know of any books I can get regarding this topic?

  • If god gives you something like that (god foribid) he's not doing it so your fellow mankind can just put you to death..he wants us to live a humble life and although in pain, but close to god for strength to stand as long as you can praising him and glorifying his name..they call cancer the "disease from heaven" or something like that now cuz you're so sick and in such bad shape that you put all your trust in your heavely father at last and you become so close to him because all of a sudden he's all your hope and all you live for. I wish I was as close to god as people like that are..
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