PM5110: On Euthanasia

Euthanasia refers to the practice of ending the life of a person in the belief that doing so relieves suffering.

A distinction is made between:

  • passive euthanasia - withdrawal of medical treatment designed to prolong life, with the intention that doing so will hasten death
  • active euthanasia - deliberately killing the patient, such as by administering a drug overdose

Another distinction is between:

  • voluntary euthanasia - euthanasia with the consent of the person to die
  • involuntary euthanasia - euthanasia against a person's consent - the most famous example of this was the Nazi T4 euthanasia programme
  • non-voluntary euthanasia - euthanasia for those who are incapable of consenting or refusing euthanasia (such as those in a coma or a persistent vegetative state)

However, although the boundaries between the voluntary, the involuntary and the non-voluntary seem clear in theory, they can be murky in practice - such as if pressure is exerted upon someone to consent to euthanasia, especially when that person's medical condition may have impaired their usual capacity to form independent judgements.

Maratreanism accepts both passive and active forms of euthanasia. It accepts voluntary and non-voluntary euthanasia, but is strongly opposed to involuntary euthanasia.

From a Maratrean viewpoint, there is no point in clinging to life when it has outlived its purpose. To do so suggests a lack of belief in the afterlife, in the fundamental nature of the soul as that can be neither created or believed. Those who believe that after death comes nothingness, will cling to existence, no matter how bad it has become, for existence is all they have. Those who believe in Her promises, will not be afraid to give up this mortal coil when it has outlived all its possible benefits, and becoming nothing but a source of woe.

The blessed ones always die at the right time - not a moment too soon, not a moment too late. We should not be afraid to follow their sacred example.