Though the following e-newsletter from my days at Christianity Today International opens with an out-of-date reference to the late Terry Schiavo, the topic is as pressing as ever. What should we as Christians think about euthanasia, or “mercy killing”?
Some time after this piece was posted on CTI’s website, it was reprinted as the lead essay in Euthanasia: Opposing Viewpoints, ed. Carrie L. Snyder (Thomson Gale/Greenhaven Press, 2006). The piece was retitled “Christianity Condemns Voluntary Euthanasia,” and it was followed by an essay from the opposite viewpoint: “Christianity Should Condone Voluntary Euthanasia.” The author? Liberal Episcopalian John Shelby Spong.
(Some links in the following are likely out-of-date.)
Not a Mercy but a Sin
The modern push for euthanasia is a push against a two-millenniums-old Christian tradition.
The case of Terri Schiavo, a severely brain-damaged Florida woman who has been on life support for over a decade, has reopened debate by secular and church authorities alike on questions surrounding euthanasia or “mercy killing.”
The matter is admittedly not simple. But the Christian church has, at least until recent decades, spoken on it with a fairly unified voice.