Euthanasia

Keith Essex | August 25, 2009

In the early part of the twenty-first century, euthanasia is destined to become the dominant ethical issue in American culture. It has become better known in the recent past because of several factors: the German euthanasia program, the cases of Karen Ann Quinlan and Nancy Beth Cruzan, and the activities of Dr. Jack Kevorkian. Recent responses to the growing acceptability of euthanasia are the Uniform Health-Care Decisions Act of 1993, the recognition of euthanasia in Holland in 1993, the Oregon Physician-assisted Suicide Initiative in 1994, and the U. S. Supreme Court’s upholding of bans on physician-assisted suicide in 1977. A clear understanding of the vocabulary of euthanasia is vital because different sources are attaching differing meanings to the same words. Expressions that are especially significant are “active/passive euthanasia,” “voluntary/involuntary/nonvoluntary euthanasia,” and “direct/indirect euthanasia.” The Bible is clear in its condemnation of both homicide and suicide, which cover all types of euthanasia. The Scriptures also present guidelines for dealing with death and euthanasia.

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Keith Essex Faculty Associate, Bible Exposition A.B., California State University, Long Beach Th.M., Dallas Theological Seminary D.Min., The Master's Seminary During his residency for his Master of Theology degree, Dr. Essex ministered with Campus Crusade and later as a student pastor in Dallas, Texas. Following graduation, he served as Academic Dean at Grace Bible Institute in Long Beach, California. During this time he was also involved as a church planter, interim pastor, and later as an associate pastor. For nine years he pastored in Redondo Beach. Dr. Essex came to The Master's Seminary as an adjunct professor in 1992, joining the faculty full-time in 1994.

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