Can Assisted Suicide be an Act of Martyrdom?
ELLICOTT CITY, MD -- A Christian ethicist says he believes assisted suicide can sometimes be considered an act of martyrdom.
In an exclusive story in the current edition of Village Life News Magazine, Dixon Sutherland, head of the Institute for Christian Ethics at Stetson University in Florida, suggests the discussion of physician assisted suicide is forcing some Christians to rethink their understanding of the sanctity of human life.
"The theological tenet is that we are individuals responsible to God and to neighbor," Sutherland explained. "We are not isolated egos. Humans are inter-relational, and that extends to all of society. So a terminal patient soaking up thousands of dollars a day -- money that could be used to treat other patients or feed the hungry -- is irresponsible. That person could reasonably end his life on behalf of his neighbor."
Sutherland's view is rejected by Mark B. Blocher, executive director of The Center for Biblical Values and chief of Health Intervention Services at Western Michigan University. "To argue it's a sacrifice on behalf of others is quite a stretch," he said. "None of (Jack) Kervorkian's patients did it for the benefit of family or society. They did it for themselves."
The article describing differing views of theologians and ethicists is included in "Assisted Suicide" -- the current Cover Story of Village Life, a new Internet news magazine, that says it is attempting to "provide objective clarity and a sense of hope to the news."
Every other week, Village Life highlights a different social issue as its Cover Story. The online magazine editors also cover daily news from the same perspective -- looking for the human element in major news events.
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