Euthanasia

A brief Seventh-day Adventist perspective

Euthanasia is difficult to define. Some say it is the intentional taking of a person's life when they see no hope of recovery. This is most commonly known as "mercy killing". Others say it is the withholding of medical care artificially extending someone's life.

Is there a difference between the two?

Seventh-day Adventists believe there is a difference between mercy killing and the withholding of medical care.

Our position is that:

  • Mercy killing is biblically, ethically and morally unacceptable.
  • Medical care that only preserves bodily functions without potential for restoration of mental awareness may be withheld or withdrawn.
  • People who are dying but capable of understanding deserve to know the truth about their condition so they can make intelligent decisions about their treatment.

Adventists lovingly and humanely care for the defenceless, the dependent and the dying. We do this because the Bible advocates we give these people extra care and treat them with respect and dignity. The Bible also encourages us to show patience and endurance rather than despair.

Adventists value and respect life while recognising people are dependent on God for it. God gives us all the freedom of choice but asks we use it wisely.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific released a statement called "Consensus on Care for the Dying" in 1992.