Does the Bible Ever Speak of Euthanasia?


Euthanasia means “good death.” It has meant different things to different people at different times in history. There are some who felt it meant we are to make the last moments of a person’s life comfortable. Today the term almost always refers to the action or intentional failure to act to preserve a life. It is most closely described today as “mercy killing.” A person is brought to death by an action or failure to act to reduce mental or physical suffering for that person or survivors.

While the Bible does not use the term euthanasia, it speaks of suffering and killing. In Exodus 20:13 is the clear command not to kill. No place in the Bible is mercy killing ever considered an exception to the command not to kill. The Bible also clearly speaks of our attitude toward those who suffer. In the story of the Good Samaritan the directive was to help the suffering, not terminate the person who suffered. Jesus showed extraordinary compassion upon the suffering of society. And, according to 1 Peter, he was an example for us to imitate.

The Bible forbids us to kill and call for us to care. Without saying the word euthanasia the Bible clearly establishes that mercy killing is not acceptable. Equally important is that failure to care sacrificially for those in need is unacceptable as well.


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