Article Info

published: 11/9/05
updated: 6/11/13

Euthanasia and Religion

What is Euthanasia?

What is euthanasia and what are the arguments for it? Is it legal? Is it moral? These are some of the common questions people have about euthanasia.

Definition of euthanasia

Euthanasia, sometimes known as "mercy-killing," is the intentional ending of a patient's life by a physician, usually by lethal injection. Technically, "physician-assisted suicide" is different and refers to a physician providing a patient with the means for taking his or her own life.

Euthanasia and religion

Among those who attend religious services weekly, only 33% regarded euthanasia as morally acceptable. Among those who attend services "nearly weekly," 48% said euthanasia is morally acceptable.

Since religion concerns itself with issues of life, death, meaning and morality, it is not surprising that, for many people, religious beliefs are the main basis for their views of euthanasia. While there are certainly many other factors that contribute to one's position on euthanasia, such as concerns about the risk of abuse, compassion, pain control, legal freedom, etc., this section will focus almost entirely on the religious aspects of the issue.





The articles in this section do not attempt to provide any answers or opinions on the issues of euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide, but merely provide "the facts" about how these issues has been addressed by the world's major religions. After a brief introduction to the issue, including current statistics and poll information on euthanasia, the pages that follow describe the views of some major world religions on euthanasia, ordered alphabetically by religion.



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Euthanasia and Religion