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Q: What are Christian perspectives on euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide?

The Christian Medical and Dental Associations write in their "Euthanasia Ethics Statement," accessed from their website on May 11, 2007:

"What is fundamentally wrong with euthanasia from a biblical perspective is that it involves the killing of human beings who are necessarily made in the image of God (Genesis 9:6). Physician-assisted suicide is wrong for similar reasons, in that people kill human beings (themselves) with the assistance of others who thereby become accessories to killing.

Christians are indeed called upon to be compassionate and to relieve suffering, but not at any expense. If happiness were what life is all about, then suffering would be the ultimate evil to be avoided at all costs. The cross would represent the epitome of what is to be avoided. Its crushing load on Jesus back and the nails driven through his hands and feet graphically display the burden of the fallenness of the world that Jesus had to bear, in fact, chose to bear. Yet, those who follow Jesus are not called to avoid such suffering but to suffer this fallenness with him, to take up crosses of their own.

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