For discussion: Other faiths speak out on end-of-life issues

Questions for reflecting on and discussing the feature article, Other faiths speak out on end-of-life issues (March 3, 2014 issue) 

February 26, 2014 | Feature | Number 5
By Barb Draper |

1. John Longhurst refers to a recent poll indicating that 70 percent of Canadians support physician-assisted suicide and 68 percent believe that those who help a seriously ill person commit suicide should not face legal charges. How would you respond to these questions? Why do you think these numbers are so high? What concerns do you have about assisted suicide?

2. The Islamic imam says that assisted suicide is different from “letting nature run its course,” so that withholding or even withdrawing life support “may be an acceptable solution to end suffering.” Do you agree? What cautions do you have about withdrawing life support? How has the development of medical technology made end-of-life issues more complicated?

3.The Jewish rabbi says that Judaism has a wide range of opinions regarding end-of-life issues, from using every available medical intervention to withholding intravenous food, water and drugs from a comatose patient. Does Christianity have the same range of opinions? Are there Christians who would go as far as assisted suicide?

4. How are the teachings of these various religions similar regarding assisted suicide? How are they different? What would you like to say to Canadian lawmakers regarding end-of-life issues?

See all the articles in this six-part feature: 

Other faiths speak out on end-of-life issues (introduction)

Applying ancient wisdom to the here and now (Buddhism)

Only God can determine the time and place of death (Islam)

Obligated to ‘choose life’ (Judaism)

God gives life, nobody should try to take it away (Hinduism)

‘Right to life does not include the right to be killed’ (Evangelical Christian Fellowship)

--Posted Feb. 26, 2014

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