End of life issues

The topics of euthanasia and assisted suicide continue to provoke controversy and debate, with deeply held opinions on all sides of the argument. The position of the Church remains that, while the relief of suffering is an obligation, the artificial ending of life is unacceptable.

End of life issues

What does the Bible says about euthanasia?

Our End of Life Issues report states that the Christian church has the responsibility to proclaim the message that there is more to life than simply this life. This discussion leaflet can be used in group sessions to discuss end of life issues.

God has forbidden it

The command from God which says 'you must not kill' is usually interpreted as meaning 'you must not murder’. However, a broader interpretation is that you must not take human life. This rules out euthanasia (and assisted suicide), as carrying these out would be against God's commandments, and would be an attack on the sovereignty of God.

In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.

Job 12:10

Human life is special

Human beings are made in God's image, therefore they have a special value and dignity. This value doesn't depend on the quality of a particular life, and taking a life violates that special value and dignity, even if that life is full of pain and suffering.

Human life is sacred

The sanctity of human lives derives from the fact that God created them; therefore human life should be protected and preserved, whatever happens, and we shouldn't interfere with God's plans by shortening human lives.

Reports

  • The Church wrote a supplementary report in response to the Scottish Parliament's End of Life Assistance (Scotland) Bill in 2010.
  • Euthanasia: A Christian Perspective (presented to GA 1995) and the 2008 supplement.
  • The Church responded to the Scottish Government's consultation on Proposed Palliative Care (Scotland) Bill.
  • The Church responded to the call for evidence on Proposed Palliative Care (Scotland) Bill.
  • The Church responded to the Scottish Government's 'Death Certification, Burial and Cremation' consultation paper.