Session 3: "Where sickness and sorrow are no more . . ." - Euthanasia
"A Christian ending to our life, painless, blameless, and peaceful . . . let us ask of the Lord.”
— Litany of the Prosthesis
Aim: There are several important issues that are dealt with in this session. The basic question of "why do bad things happen to good people?" rises immediately. How could a good and loving God allow suffering? How should we respond to suffering? The saints, and in particular the martyrs have gone ahead of us and shown us the way of enduring suffering. They show us that suffering can transform lives for the better when offered to Christ.
Therefore this session looks at the meaning of suffering and “death with dignity,” by comparing euthanasia and assisted suicide to the martyrdom of the saints, who endured immense suffering for the glory of God. We will discuss how they knew that the suffering of this life was nothing in comparison to the glory that awaited them in the Kingdom, and how this assurance led them to do remarkable achievements.
Christians, we must cultivate a remembrance of death and live our lives as
a preparation for death. We also pray at every liturgy for a "painless
and blameless death." Euthanasia may provide a “painless” death, but
is it blameless? To die with dignity does not necessarily mean to die without
suffering or pain, but approaching death in humility and hope of the Resurrection.
Many people find it easy to dismiss the moral implications of euthanasia.
This session challenges the participants to come to term with these implications
and explore the meaning of suffering.
Objectives: By the end of this session, students should be able to
1. Define Euthanasia, both passive and voluntary, and distinguish it from physician-assisted suicide.
2. Articulate the Church's teaching on Euthanasia.
3. Explain the meaning of the Unction service.
4. Pray for those who suffer.
2 Tim 2:11-13,
2 Tim 4:6-8;
2 Corinthians 4:6-12;
1 Corinthians 1:18;