Christian Ethics on Euthanasia Case Study


George is currently overwhelmed by a positive diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) which is also known as the motor neuron disease (MND). ALS is a neurodegenerative condition which is also terminal. It rapidly progresses to death within three to five years after its onset. Without a cure and no foreseeable discovery of cure in the near future, management of ALS is focused on easing the disease’s debilitating symptoms. Nevertheless, given the psychosocial effects of the disease and impending death, someone suffering from it must be inclined to question the very meaning of life. It is also not out of the ordinary to consider death as a possible solution to the suffering, indignity, and loss of power that accompany ALS (Banner, 2014). For otherwise independent individuals like George, it is difficult to contemplate depending on others for basic daily functions. That is a complete nightmare for anyone of George’s stature. Therefore, it is normal for them to consider euthanasia based on several considerations and perspectives (De Villers, 2016). However, there are also other views that diminish consideration of euthanasia as a possible solution to such tremendous suffering. This paper discusses various Christian viewpoints and their impact of George’s ultimate decision concerning his desire to end his life through euthanasia.

Suffering and Fallenness of the World

In Christianity God is believed to be the creator of all things. Therefore, to derive life’s meaning, Christians rely on the teachings of their religion. It is only through God that a Christian can arrive at a meaning of life and prepare to face anything that life presents them. Christian spirituality and religiousness therefore provides the framework to understand and interpret life experiences. However, looming large in Christian teachings is the role man played through Adam and Eve in shaping the state of the world. Man does not perceive or experience life as it is presented as unblemished in the initial two chapters of the bible (De Villers, 2016). Instead, life is rife with disparate kinds of ailments, evils, malevolence, injustice, danger, and all kinds of risk. To an extent, Christianity man upon the blame for such suffering and tribulations in his own world. In the bible, human suffering is borne out of man’s original sin whereby Adam and Eve imbibe on the forbidden fruit contrary to God’s instructions. The original humans bore corruption and rebellion to God’s unblemished creation. This was especially distasteful in the eyes of God given that man was created in his image. In essence corruption and rebellion robbed God his own glory in the interest of riding on it (Banner, 2014). That created the universal template for sin which essentially denies God his own rightful glory as humans seek it for themselves.

Repercussions of the fall of Adam and Eve were catastrophic and immediate in the Garden of Eden. They were promptly expunged from the Garden and denied access from the tree of life. God also cut free access to crops and fruits and man now had to contend with a hostile earth that he had o toil in sweat and suffering to accrue anything from it. Human reproduction also changed to be accompanied by labor and pain instead of innocence and awe that characterized the birth of Adam and Eve (De Villers, 2016). Going by that, sinning is necessary to the human condition. Therefore, it is impossible to contend with life without referencing sin. Consequently, individuals are culpable for human problem and suffering. Additionally, there’s no cause whatsoever to find the source of tribulations outside the realm of self. Therefore, from this perspective, George is culpable for is own suffering and positive diagnosis for ALS. Therefore, he has no cause to seek euthanasia since that would expressly put at loggerheads with God. Euthanasia practically dethrones god and diminishes his glory because he created George, and only he has the authority to decide when to end his suffering (Banner, 2014). Additionally, George’s euthanasia would only add another chapter to human fallenness. Thus, compounding human suffering and problems.

Christian Ethics on Euthanasia Case Study
Christian Ethics on Euthanasia Case Study

Suffering and Hope for Resurrection

A Christian worldview informs George to bear his suffering with grace and leave God to decide what happens to him. After all, it is only through God’s will that George is suffering. Being the wise creator, God has a reason for bestowing such suffering upon George. It is up to George now to have faith and believe in the absolute sanctity of God. Believers should remedy human sinfulness by living according to the edicts of God without committing any unnecessary sins (De Villers, 2016). A believer should especially seek God’s help to avoid sin and live according to his will. Euthanasia is nothing else but a modern mode of massive manifestation of human disbelief in God. This is evidenced by the lack of belief in God among scientists who have developed drugs to ease people out of the human condition through voluntary suicide. Hence, when one dies through euthanasia, they die as unbelievers who do not heed the teachings and edicts of God’s faith. Such people do not hope for resurrection as envisioned by apostle Paul in the book of Thessalonians (4:13-18). Believers who die will rise to life again just like Jesus returned after his death to demonstrate God’s generosity through his resurrection. In Christianity, this belief is used to encourage believers to remain grounded in their faith and follow the teachings of Jesus (Banner, 2014). Therefore, for George to rise again after his death, he has to opt not to undergo euthanasia. Instead, he should wait for his death through suffering and tribulation like a true believer.

Value of Life in Christianity

In Christianity, life is the ultimate gift from God to his creation. If God therefore decided to withdraw the breath of man, he would perish. Therefore, life belongs to God and is the most valuable thing on earth. Correspondingly, human beings lack absolute autonomy over their lives and instead are mere steward of life bestowed upon them by God (Banner, 2014). Hence, human life should be accordingly guarded and cherished since its value is intrinsic. That is, given that God created humans in his own image, human life is more valuable than anything on the face of the earth. Taking human life in any way therefore leads to punishment from God as a means of accountability. In light of this life principle George has no right whatsoever to end his own life until God deems it fit to end it. Additionally, George’s decision to commit euthanasia does not only affect him. Instead, Christianity draws strength from the communal spirit that encourages fellowship of believers. Hence, nobody is independent of others. The decisions one takes therefore also have an impact on other people (De Villers, 2016). As aforementioned, human suffering is intrinsic to the human condition based on the principle of fallenness. Therefore, if George decided to commit euthanasia, he would inadvertently condemn other human beings to God’s wrath.

Morally Justified Options on Euthanasia

Endurance is a central virtue in Christianity. That is, when human beings are faced with suffering, they should face it with discipline since it is the gateway to conforming to the likeness of Jesus. It is only through suffering that a Christian an accrue peace and righteousness. In fact, it is through persevering through momentary and light troubles that Christians achieve eternal glory in heaven (Banner, 2014). That far outweighs any momentary need to alleviate suffering for the sake of it. As such, a Christian should view suffering as manifestation of the sovereign hand and purpose of God. Therefore, one should remain obedient to the will of God through his teachings to remain a true Christian. Therefore, human beings are not independent or autonomous biological or spiritual entities as touted in various humanistic and atheistic worldviews that tout euthanasia. The self-centered hedonistic values that inform support euthanasia approach life as utilitarian. Hence, unlike in Christianity, suffering has no value to a human being. According to this view therefore, life should be discontinued if it is full of suffering and thus unwanted by it steward. Hence, some lives are not worth living and should be terminated.

While that atheistic and humanistic view of life sounds good and appears logically sound, it is essentially illogical. That’s because suffering is tantamount to the human condition. Therefore, human beings must encounter instances of suffering on a daily basis even devoid of suffering, albeit in little dosages (Banner, 2014). A summation of these instances of suffering can add up and encourage termination of life without due course. Additionally, euthanasia is essentially physician assisted suicide. Therefore, instead of helping the suffering as touted by supporters of euthanasia, people end up suicidal due to compromise of their worldview by such anti-human principles.

Personal Decision

The writer of this paper would opt to live out ALS and face suffering as a result, with grace, as instructed by God. After all, as a Christian, suffering is not something to be detested or avoided (De Villers, 2016). In fact, bearing one’s suffering with responsibility is one’s ultimate duty as a true believer who hopes to resurrect after death just like Jesus. Therefore, I would responsibly spend the remaining time connecting with family and popularizing God’s will through my tribulations as I prepared for my impending death. This would be a time to reflect upon life and its blessings and helping fellow believers with ALS to live according to God’s will.


According to the Christian view of life, George should bear his suffering from ALS with grace. He should therefore not undergo euthanasia as he desires. That’s because according to the concept of fallenness of man, he is merely wresting glory from God by taking an autonomous decision pertaining his life. A life that he has no authority over. He is just a mere steward in his life and should use that opportunity to live in a meaningful way that glorifies God. Additionally, in the hope of resurrection after death, he should abide by the teachings of god like a dutiful and true believer. In fact, there’s nothing in Christian ethics that support George’s desire to commit euthanasia. All Christian values, edicts, and teachings explored above are to the contrary of George’s decision and desire for euthanasia.