Physician-assisted death: doctrinal develoment vs. Christian tradition

Christ Bioeth. 1998 Aug;4(2):115-21. doi: 10.1076/chbi.


Physician-assisted suicide offers a moral and theological Rorschach test. Foundational commitments regarding morality and theology are disclosed by how the issue is perceived and by what moral problems it is seen to present. One of the cardinal differences disclosed is that between Western and Orthodox Christian approaches to theology in general, and the theology of dying and suicide in particular. Confrontation with the issue of suicide is likely to bring further doctrinal development in many of the Western Christian religions, so as to be able to accept physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Death
  • Catholicism
  • Christianity*
  • Eastern Orthodoxy
  • Euthanasia*
  • Euthanasia, Active*
  • Euthanasia, Active, Voluntary*
  • History
  • Homicide
  • Humans
  • Intention
  • Motivation
  • Physicians
  • Religion
  • Suicide
  • Suicide, Assisted*
  • Theology